When Sir Ernest Shackleton's dreams of crossing Antarctica foundered with his expedition ship Endurance in the ice of the Weddell Sea in October 1915, he could only wonder what had become of his support party on the other side of the continent. This book tells that story. The task of the Ross Sea component of the expedition was to lay the all-important depots in support of the traverse party to be led by Shackleton. The party was dogged from the outset by lack of finance and inadequate preparation, and matters were severely compounded when, in May 1915, their ship Aurora was carried away from its winter moorings. This left ten men stranded and without proper equipment and supplies. At great personal hardship and cost, they laid the depots across the Ross Ice Shelf to Mount Hope. Three men were to die during this courageous and perilous endeavour. Aurora, refitted in New Zealand, eventually sailed south amidst considerable controversy, to rescue the seven survivors. Remarkably, after almost 90 years, Polar Castaways provides the first in-depth account of the Ross Sea party, the drift of Aurora and the relief expedition under the command of polar veteran Captain J. K. Davis. This book fills one of the last major gaps in the literature of the `heroic era' of polar exploration.