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So, when Shackleton decided to venture off again in 1921 it was no surprise that he might once again choose to take a young person, or two, on the voyage to develop their character.
As for the voyage itself, initially the plan was to head to the far north and explore the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic with the backing of the Canadian authorities. However, after much wrangling and some hesitation from the Canadians over funding, Shackleton decided instead to approach a fellow student of Dulwich College – John Quiller Rowett – for financial support.
Even when Shackleton subsequently made an abrupt about turn and decided instead to return to his beloved south Rowett stood loyally by his side.
Obviously just keen to find any reason at all to escape, Shackleton’s extremely loose aims for this new endeavour are recounted by Smith (2014) as follows:

The undertaking, now officially called the Shackleton-Rowett expedition, involved circumnavigating the Antarctic continent and mapping a 2,000 mile (3,200 km) stretch of uncharted territory in Enderby Land. He also threw in the possibility of establishing the precise position of various islands in sub-Antarctic waters. Finally, he had the fanciful notion of searching the South Atlantic archipelago of Trindade and Matim Vaz (known as South Trinidad in Britain) for the buried treasure of 17th-century pirate, Captain William Kidd.

From the outset this new expedition was wrapped up in symbolism and expectation. Shackleton put together a crew from different nationalities and backgrounds to promote unity and break down barriers. By including a Boy Scout in the crew, he knew that he would capture the public imagination and guarantee interest from journalists.

Quote from Shackleton, Daily Mail, 9th July 1921:

“For many years, I have been an admirer of the Boy Scout Movement, which I may say appeals to me particularly because it seems to give every boy a grounding in the practice of exploration.”

In July 1921 a letter from Major Wade, the then organising secretary of the Scout Association, appeared in the Daily Mail for a Boy Scout to “go south with Shackleton”.

Quote from Wade, Daily Mail, 9th July 1921:

“Sir, I have this morning discussed with Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the Chief Scout, the question of selecting the Scout to accompany Sir Ernest Shackleton … Scouts will be selected on their Scout Service, particularly those Scouts who hold the Cornwell Badge … Applications are pouring in.”

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