The loss of the expedition ship SY Endurance, and the subsequent dispersal of staff and crew, resulted in very little scientific information emerging from the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914–1917. Among surviving records were the charts and diaries maintained by the ship's master, F.A. Worsley. During the voyage in January 1915 along the ice cliffs of the Weddell Sea coast, Worsley recorded the ship's daily progress, soundings and trawling and dredging activities, and also daily encounters with seals, whales and seabirds, On 12 January he noted a group of fledgling emperor penguin chicks (Aptenodytes forsteri) on an ice foot, clearly a remnant of what was then only the third-known breeding colony of the species. Shackleton's first published account of the expedition mentioned the chicks only in a brief note (one that was omitted from later editions), and no further report covering Worsley's observations appeared in scientific literature. In consequence the discovery of the breeding colony and records of emperor penguin distribution along the Weddell Sea coast have since been overlooked by avian biologists, regrettably including the present author. This paper discusses the identity of the colony, Worsley's observations that foreshadowed the later discovery of more breeding concentrations along the coast, and a possible reason why colonies occur at points of particular glaciological disturbance.