Addison Lee CEO travels to South Pole to complete quest started by relative over 100 years ago


Embarking on a once in a lifetime journey, Liam Griffin, CEO of Addison Lee – London’s largest quality ground transport provider – is currently taking part in an expedition to the South Pole.

Setting off on December 30th to complete the journey first started over 100 years ago by his relative, Tom Crean, Griffin hopes to reach the South Pole by January 12th. The voyage, organised by Shackleton – the high performance, extreme clothing company – and led by Louis Rudd – the ex-SAS Captain and Trans-Antarctic record holder – will see Griffin and the team skiing the Last Degree to the South Pole, a journey of some 100 miles. Griffin has previously completed the Le Mans 24-hour race and the Dakar rally.

With Antarctica having had its coldest November on record, and with seasonal temperatures cascading to -50c, the team will be kitted out in Shackleton’s Mission Clothing Range and in preparation for what’s to come, have undergone Shackleton’s extreme training course in Iceland.

Griffin said: ‘This journey has a personal significance for me – being able to finish what a member of my family started over 100 years ago.’

Tom Crean was unable to complete the journey to Antarctica when Sir Robert Falcon Scott decided he would not be part of the final team on the expedition in 1911.

However, removing Crean from the team ultimately saved his life, allowing him to take part in two further expeditions to Antarctica, including Ernest Shackleton’s fateful trip to the South Pole in 1914. On this expedition, as the infamous story tells, Antarctic ice trapped Shackleton’s ship – The Endurance – for 12 months before the resulting damage caused it to sink.

Thousands of miles from home and with no likelihood of rescue, Shackleton’s team – including Crean – had to evacuate via three small lifeboats, first rowing to Elephant Island, before embarking on a 900-mile journey across the treacherous South Seas, to South Georgia Island. Once across, they were met with no respite, facing a climb over a snowy mountain range and a 32-mile trek back to civilisation and safety.

Griffin will be carrying a can of Tom Crean Expedition Ale to celebrate finishing Tom’s journey with a well-deserved toast.