Stove: Comet Scout, No. 6 Patent
One copper coloured Comet Scout Primus stove and cleaning pricker, c1910, contained within a 2lb Bourville Cocoa tin. One of two used on the James Caird during the 870 mile journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia, April - May 1916.
After the loss of his ship Endurance in the Weddell Sea in January 1915 Ernest Shackleton and his men dragged three of the ship’s boats across the ice and then managed to sail to the nearest land, Elephant Island. One of these boats, the James Caird, was fitted out by Harry McNish (Neish), the ship’s carpenter, for the perilous ocean crossing to South Georgia. With five companions, Shackleton succeeded in making this remarkable journey. Among the equipment aboard the James Caird were two primuses. If both failed the entire expedition would fail. Landing on the wrong side of South Georgia the party split up, one to cross the island to get help, the other to stay with the boat; each party retained a Primus. The Primus on display is one that stayed with the boat and was brought to New Zealand by McNish who later settled in Wellington.