Sir Ernest Shackleton CVO OBE was an Anglo Irish explorer and one of the key figures in exploring the Antarctic regions. I’m amazed to say that at the age of about ten, he moved to Sydenham, and this is where the Blue Plaque can be found.
Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) was born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland. A merchant Navy Officer, he joined the Discovery Expedition with Robert Falcon Scott from 1901-1904 from which he had to return due to ill health. He felt that he failed his duty due to this and was so determined to amend this record by returning to Antarctica in 1907, when he lead the Nimrod Expedition. 1909 was the year for success and he and his companions created a new record with the furthest march South from the South Pole. This achievement gave him his knighthood.
The large but unassuming house in Sydenham can be found on Westwood Hill next to the grand church of St. Bartholomew. Shackleton moved here at the age of ten. His education from 13 onwards was at the Dulwich College which now has an exhibition room devoted to his achievements. If you are standing in front of the house and you walk down a few paces, you can look down the road leading from the main one this is also of interest as it was the subject of a painting by Camille Pissarro in 1871. In this you will see the church but also St.Davids nestled beside it, Shackleton’s home!