Alexander Hepburne Macklin worked for a short period as a deck-hand before reading medicine at Manchester University. He joined the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party] 1914-1916 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton) as surgeon. After the expedition ship Endurance was crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, the party escaped in boats to Elephant Island. A party of six led by Shackleton made the epic journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia to seek help from the Stromness whaling station and in August 1916 Macklin and his companions were rescued from Elephant Island.
Macklin saw service in both World Wars, being awarded the military Cross while on the Italian front in the First World War and served later in Russia with Sir Ernest Shackleton. Repatriated and demobilised, he became surgeon to the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, 1921-1922, treating Shackleton in his final illness. He wrote the appendix on the medical work of the expedition (a practical guide to the recognition, prevention and cure of ailments likely to be met with in polar regions, with a section on the care of sledge dogs) in Frank Wild's Shackleton's last voyage (London, 1923),
Thereafter Macklin held hospital appointments in Dundee and Aberdeen, in addition to being physician-in-charge of student health and lecturer in social medicine at Aberdeen University. He died in Aberdeen, Scotland on 21 March 1967.
Published work, Medical [report] in Shackleton's last voyage. The story of the Quest ... from the official journal and private diary kept by Dr A.H. Macklin by John Robert Francis [Frank] Wild, Cassell and Company London (1923) SPRI Library Shelf (ƫ)91(08)[1921-22 Shackleton]
From the guide to the Alexander Hepburne Macklin collection, 1914 - 1964, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)