Charles Green (1888-1974)
Charles Green was born in Richmond, Surrey, but made his home in Hull. Known as “The Antarctic Chef” Charles Green joined the Endurance Expedition in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as cook. When the Endurance sank one of his greatest regrets was that his ‘cooking secrets’ went down with it, including experimental tins of penguin meat which he thought may have appealed to the British public. He cooked valiantly on the ice and was a master at improvisation.
Charles Green, 'the Antarctic Chef'. Embroidery inspired by the Endurance Expedition by Viv Stamford.
‘Green our sooty faced cook was a marvel. It seemed like a miracle when he prepared a hot meal of hoosh or salt meat with tea or hot milk in thirty-five minutes from lighting the blubber fire. His only shelter from a blizzard was a piece of canvas stretched round four oars stuck upright in the snow. Clouds of oily black soot poured from the funnel. Small wonder that the cook’s face was sooty, but his cheerful grin never deserted him. The seamen recognised a good man, did not exercise their time-honoured right of growling at the cook. They dared not anyway for Sir Ernest was the Cook’s protector. He would not have guarded an inefficient man. Sir Ernest always set great store on the best food and cooking possible for his men. Owing to his constant care, none of the men under him ever suffered from scurvy.’ Frank Worsley’s description of Charles Green in his book ‘Shackleton’s Boat Journey’.
Following his return from the expedition Charles Green married Ethel May Johnson in 1918. They lived at 20 Brindley Street in Hull.
Sir Ernest had given Charles Green a set of lantern slides which had been produced from Frank Hurley’s photographs. These became his pride and joy for the next fifty years he toured around the world in the merchant navy and gave hundreds of illustrated talks about his experiences on the Endurance, as far away as Australia, South Africa and the USA. He also gave many lectures all around the UK to numerous societies and organisations. When he retired from the navy he was busy visiting schools in Hull, travelling on the bus with his projector and slides to get there. Many people in Hull and the surrounding area can still remember Charles Green’s visit to their school.
Research, text and embroidery by Viv Stamford.
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