The story of the men of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship S.Y. Endurance

Albert Ernest Holness

( 7/12/1892 -20/09/1924 )
BORN : HULL.YORKSHIRE. ENGLAND
DIED: LOST AT SEA. OFF FAROE ISLANDS
NICKNAME : HOLIE
DUTY : FIREMAN

Holness

HOLNESS TAKEN 1916
BUENOS ARIES

 

Ernie Holness , was another of Shackleton’s men from the great sea port of Hull,Yorkshire. England.

Ernie was born in 1892 and was one of thirteen children! They lived at 7 Alma Avenue, Woodcock Street. Hull. He was brought up by his Grandparents, Richard Albert Holness and Elizabeth Holness, who originated from Kent. His Grandfather Richard was a master mariner and was lost at sea on the S.S. Boyne in 1898. Ernie’s mother Elizabeth Emma Holness was the eldest daughter of R.A. & E Holness. Ernest was born out of wedlock and his father is unknown.

He along with three other members of the crew was denied the Polar Medal.

Holness is remembered for the famous event of being unfortunate enough to have been sleeping right over the spot where the flow they had been camping on decided to slip into two.

He ended up in the “drink”, tucked tightly in his sleeping bag, and no doubt owed his life to Shackleton who at the time had been pacing up and down the ice pondering their predicament and was quick to fish him out, before the pack, seconds later,came together again.

“Are you alright?” Shackleton asked. “ Yes Boss! “ replied a shivering Holness. “ Only trouble is I lost my bloody tobacco in the drink!”

In order to prevent Holness from freezing to death that night, Shackleton saw to it that he spent several hours walking around the flow so that his body heat would help dry him out.

When he returned back home to England, he courted a Hull girl named Lillian Rose Bettles and they were married on 12th June 1917 and set up home at 14 Flinton Street. Hull, where they raised two daughters and one son. He resumed his career on the North Sea trawlers.

Ernie, like a number of other “Endurance” crewmembers was fated to die young. On 20th September 1924 at the age of 31, he was washed overboard and lost at sea whilst serving on the trawler “Lord Lonsdale” off the Faroe Islands.Scotland in the North Atlantic.

With thanks to John Jack Holness (Nephew of Ernie Holness) and Pauline J. Dalby

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