The New Zealand grave of a skillful carpenter.

Episode: 21. Site Number: 140. Date Posted: 1 September 1996. Location: Karori Cemetery, Wellington, New Zealand. Type: Grave.

A good carpenter can come in handy! Harry "Chips" McNeish (1874-1930) was a member of Shackleton's Endurance expedition and proved indispensable during those long months when the ship was drifting in the ice of the Weddell Sea and later on Elephant Island and, of course, on the voyage to South Georgia. He was the one who built up the gunwales of the James Caird and made it seaworthy.
      McNeish, a Scotsman, came to live in New Zealand. He died in September 1930 and was buried in Karori Cemetery in Wellington, with full naval honors but apparently with no marker. This was remedied on May 10, 1959, when a gravestone was unveiled which reads:

Harry McNeish
Died 24 Sept. 1930
A member of the
Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-17.
He accompanied Shackleton
on his epic boat journey from
Elephant Island to South Georgia.
Erected by N. Z. Antarctic Society.
      Photographs of the gravestone and its unveiling are included in Neville Peat's Looking South: New Zealand Antarctic Society's First Fifty Years 1933-1953, (Wellington: New Zealand Antarctic Society, 1983), pp 69-70.
      McNeish's Endurance diary resides in The Alexander Turnbull Library, the national library of New Zealand in Wellington.