Cantabrians welcomed the heroic explorers and held dinners, dances and church services in their honour. Locals also visited the ships and gathered to farewell them as they left.
Many crew members who served on Antarctic expeditions later volunteered for the war effort, continuing the sense of adventure and the heroic spirit of the age.
Glasgow-born Felix Rooney was a man who looked for adventure. In 1907, he joined Ernest Shackleton’s Nimrod expedition to Antarctica along with his stepfather, Hugh McGowan. Felix’s mother Mary grew tired of waiting for her son and husband in Scotland and she moved to Lyttelton. In March 1915, Felix enlisted with the Canterbury Regiment, serving at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.
This miniature silk New Zealand flag was flown at the South Pole on 18 January 1912. Miss Anne Hardy of Rakaia asked Dr Edward Wilson to take it with him to the Pole. The flag was returned to his wife Oriana with his other personal effects. After Dr Wilson died on the journey back from the South Pole, she sent it to Miss Hardy.