Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton, KG

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Edward Arthur Alexander Shackleton

Birthdate: (83)
Death: 1994 (83)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Emily Mary Shackleton
Husband of <private> Shackleton (Homan)
Father of Charles Edward Ernest Shackleton; <private> Shackleton and Alexandra Shackleton

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton, KG


Edward Arthur Alexander Shackleton, Baron Shackleton, KG AC OBE PC FRS FRGS FRCGS (15 July 1911 – 22 September 1994), was a British geographer and Labour Party politician.

Born in Wandsworth, London, he was the younger son of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer. In 1938, he married Betty Homan, and they had two children: the Hon. Charles Edward Ernest Shackleton and the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton.

Shackleton was a member of the 1932 University of Oxford Exploration Club expedition to Sarawak in Borneo organised by Tom Harrisson. During this trip he was the first to attain the peak of Mount Mulu.

In 1934 Shackleton organised the Oxford University Ellesmere Land Expedition and chose Gordon Noel Humphreys to lead it. Shackleton accompanied the party as the assistant surveyor to Humphreys. The expedition was eventually responsible for naming Mount Oxford (after the University of Oxford) and the British Empire Range.

In 1946, Shackleton was elected as Labour Member of Parliament for Preston in a by-election. In 1950, he was elected MP for Preston South, re-elected in 1951. In 1955, he stood down and was made a life peer as Baron Shackleton, of Burley in the County of Hampshire in 1958. In Harold Wilson's government, he served as Minister of Defence for the RAF 1964-1967, Minister without Portfolio 1967-1968 and Paymaster General 1968. He was Leader of the House of Lords from 1968 to 1970, and subsequently Opposition Leader of the House of Lords.

From 1971, he was President of the Royal Geographical Society. In 1994 he became the Life President of the newly founded James Caird Society, named after the boat in which his explorer father and crew escaped Antarctica (itself, in turn, named for James Key Caird (1837–1916), jute baron and philanthropist). He acted also as patron of the British Schools Exploring Society (B.S.E.S.) from 1962 until his death in the New Forest aged 83. In 1989 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society under Statute 12 (effectively an honorary member).

In 1990 he was appointed an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honour, "for service to Australian/British relations, particularly through the Britain–Australia Society.

Lord Shackleton was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, in which role he was deeply interested in the development of geography at Southampton. A portrait photograph of Lord Shackleton was unveiled by his daughter the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton in December 1997 in the university's Shackleton Building, which houses the Departments of Geography and Psychology.

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