"In memories we were rich. We had pierced the veneer of outside things.... We had seen God in His splendours, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man."
- Sir Ernest Shackleton, South
The Endurance expedition dispersed on October 8, 1916. Most of the men returned to Britain and, as World War I still raged on, almost all entered into the service. Alf Cheetham and Tim McCarthy--the latter able-seaman of the Caird--were both killed in the line of duty. After the war, those who survived picked up their old lives. Apart from occasional lectures, most of the men rarely spoke about their ordeal.
Expedition members were awarded the Polar Medal, although Shackleton denied it to six of his men, including four trawler hands, generally regarded as unsympathetic characters. More unexpected was his exclusion of John Vincent and "Chippy" McNish, both veterans of the James Caird journey. Vincent's collapse due to failing health and a brief rebellion on the ice by McNish, the carpenter, cost them dearly.
While Shackleton's feat of survival was readily acknowledged as remarkable, it was overshadowed by Robert F. Scott's death, which in the wake of World War I better suited the national mood of mourning. Shackleton's steadfast and masterly leadership and the quality of the men he led has been recognized in more recent times. The last of Shackleton's men, First Officer Greenstreet, died in 1979.