(c) 2016 Mount Merrion Historical Society
8.00pm, Thursday 14th May, 2020
Mount Merrion Community Centre
Illustrated talk by Brendan O'Brien
Tom Crean was from a large family from Aunnascaul. He joined the Navy in about 1892 at 16yrs “adjusting” his birth cert to show 18yrs the permissible age for enlisting. Crean spent fifteen years of his life tracking in Antarctica with both Scott and Shackleton. He was present with the search crew who located Scott, Bowers and Wilson who perished on their return having reached the Pole. Crean accompanied Shackleton on the Endurance which after being trapped in the ice for ten months eventually sank leaving 28 men stranded in Antarctica. The recue which followed is today considered one of the greatest - first in reaching Elephant Island and after the famous journey by Shackleton and five others including Crean in The James Caird to South Georgia the nearest whaling location.
Brendan O’Brien is a grandson of Tom Crean. In his youth he had access to Creans papers and medals at the time not really appreciating their importance and history. But being the eldest of both Crean/O’Brien families gave him the opportunity to have a wonderful relationship with his Grandmother Ellen - Creans wife. As with the other survivors of Antarctica very little was spoken on their return, however she often spoke of the difficult times in Aunnascaul during the “troubles”. Brendan visited Antarctica, The Falklands and South Georgia and experienced a feeling of history and closeness with his grandfather.