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

William H. Stephenson

( 19/04/1889 - 19/08/1953)
BORN : SCULCOATES. HULL. YORKSHIRE. ENGLAND
DIED : HULL. YORKSHIRE. ENGLAND.
NICKNAME : STEVE
DUTY : FIREMAN

stephenson

 

Bill Stephenson is believed to have been born in the Sculcoates district of Hull, North Yorkshire, England. He was a time served seaman serving on Trawlers that fished the North Sea out of the ports of Hull, Grimsby and Bridlington.

Very little is recorded or known about his life, and of the 28 members of the Endurance, he is perhaps the most mysterious. He was one of the four expedition members who Shackleton did not recommend for the Polar Medal. Quite why, in his case is unclear, but it is generally believed it was because he simply did not come up to the standards that Shackleton expected from all his Officers and Seamen.

He was an ex-Royal Marine from the Chatham division, and was an officers servant for a time. His duty on the expedition was that of a sort of 3rd engineer and stoker on the Endurance.


The S.S. Highland Laddie owned by the Nelson Line, took Stephenson and other expedition members back to England from South America.

After the expedition, Stephenson, along with ten of the Endurance’s officers and scientists sailed home from South America on board the Highland Laddie on Tuesday 10th October 1916

It is thought that Stephenson returned to Hull and continued working on trawlers. He then seems to have disappeared into obscurity.

He later died from cancer, in a hospital in Hull in 1953 aged 64.

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