One day into the return to the Terra Nova,

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Retired Member southey

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jun 4, 2006
your house!
"Robert Falcon Scott was born on 6 June 1868 in Devonport. He became a naval cadet at the age of 13 and served on a number of Royal Navy ships in the 1880s and 1890s. He attracted the notice of the Royal Geographical Society, which appointed him to command the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-1904. The expedition - which included Ernest Shackleton - reached further south than anyone before them and Scott returned to Britain a national hero. He had caught the exploring bug and began to plan an expedition to be the first to reach the South Pole. He spent years raising funds for the trip.

The whaling ship Terra Nova left Cardiff, Wales in June 1910 and the expedition set off from base the following October, with mechanical sledges, ponies and dogs. However, the sledges and ponies could not cope with the conditions and the expedition carried on without them, through appalling weather and increasingly tough terrain. In mid December, the dog teams turned back, leaving the rest to face the ascent of the Beardmore Glacier and the polar plateau. By January 1912, only five remained: Scott, Wilson, Oates, Bowers and Evans.

On 17 January, they reached the pole, only to find that a Norwegian party led by Roald Amundsen, had beaten them there. They started the 1,500 km journey back. Evans died in mid-February. By March, Oates was suffering from severe frostbite and, knowing he was holding back his companions, walked out into the freezing conditions never to be seen again. The remaining three men died of starvation and exposure in their tent on 29 March 1912. They were in fact only 20 km from a pre-arranged supply depot.

Eight months later, a search party found the tent, the bodies and Scott's diary. The bodies were buried under the tent, with a cairn of ice and snow to mark the spot."

Source, BBC,


Capt L "Titus" Oates, Lt H "Birdie" Bowers(seated), Capt R F Scott, Dr E Wilson(seated), Petty Officer E Evans,
South Pole, 1912

Biography: Captain Lawrence Oates

Born 17th March 1880, in Putney, London. In 1898 after leaving Eton, Oates joined the 3rd West Yorkshire (Militia) Regiment, and two years later joined the army, being
posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. In 1901 he went on active service in South African War. He served with distinction, and was mentioned in dispatches for gallantry in the field. He was severely wounded in March 1901, and was invalided home for a short period, but returned to the front before the end of the year.
In 1902 he was promoted Lieutenant, and successively served with his regiment in Ireland, Egypt, and India, and promoted Captain in 1906. In 1910, Oates applied for a post on the Antarctic expedition under Captain Robert Falcon Scott. He was accepted and with to his knowledge of horses, was put in charge of nineteen ponies, which were to be used for sledge haulage.
The expedition sailed in June 1910 on the Terra Nova, and leaving New Zealand in November reached the Ross Sea and established a base at Cape Evans on Ross Island, in January 1911. In November 1911, Oates formed part of the sledging party under Scott, which set out for the South Pole. The South Pole was reached on the 18th January 1912, after an arduous journey, thirty-four days after Roald Amundsen had planted the Norwegian flag there. The return journey was begun the same day, temperatures were extremely low and weather conditions were adverse. Oates showed signs of feeling the cold severely, but the party made good progress to the Beardmore Glacier. On the 17th February, Petty Officer Evans was the first to succumb to the cold, and died. The four remaining men in the party continued to the next depot, but travelling conditions worsened and temperatures fell to below minus forty-seven degrees. Survival depended on the ability of the men to reach each depot before their food and fuel supplies were exhausted.
Oates was suffering from frost bitten feet, but he continued for as long as he was able. As travelling conditions worsened, Oates realised he could go no further and asked to be left behind, as he feared he would hold up the progress of the rest of the party, lessening their chance of survival. His request was refused, and for another day he struggled on. On the morning of March 17th , during a blizzard, Oates told Scott he was ‘just going outside and may be some time’. He was never seen again. The self sacrifice of Oates enabled the three men to push on, and there was a possibility that, in spite of their extreme exhaustion, they might cover the thirty miles to the food supplies at One Ton depot. However, a heavy blizzard held them up eleven miles from the depot, and, unable to proceed, the three men perished on the 29th March 1912.
A search party found the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers on the 12th November 1912, but never found that of Oates. Near the site of his death they erected a cairn and cross bearing the inscription, ‘Hereabouts died a very gallant gentleman, Captain L. E. G. Oates, of the Inniskilling Dragoons. In March 1912, returning from the Pole, he walked willingly to his death in a blizzard, to try and save his comrades, beset by hardships.’
Oates Land, part of the Antarctic coastline discovered by the Terra Nova in February 1911, was named in Oates’ honour.


Dr Edward Wilson,

a brief bio

Notes from diary

Biographical text


Lt H "Birdie" Bowers,

not found much but a few bit in this nice blog


Dr Wilson, Lieutenant Bowers and Cherry-Garrard before leaving for Cape Crozier on June 27th 1911

Biography: Captain Robert Scott

Robert Falcon Scott was born in Plymouth on 6th June 1868 and was educated at Stoke Damerel and Stubbington House at Fareham. He joined the officer training college HMS Britannia in 1880 and on completion of his training in 1882, became a Midshipman on HMS Boadicea. Six years later, he became a Sub-Lieutenant in HMS Spider and was later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1889, joining HMS Amphion. Nine years later, he joined the flagship of the Channel Squadron, HMS Majestic when he was appointed as Lieutenant for Torpedoes.
However, he was not destined to spend a long time with the flagship as in 1899, on the recommendation of Sir Clements Markham, he was offered command of the expedition being organised by the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society to the Antarctic. The expedition was being arranged to explore the South Victoria Land and the ice barrier which had been discovered back in 1841 by James Ross, and to extend further into the Antarctic continent. A survey ship was purchased in 1901. The majority of the crew and team members were seconded from the navy but as the organisation was more from the two societies, the ship flew the merchant ensign. Scott was promoted to Commander on taking up his duties with HMS Discovery.
The expedition team left Cowes on 6th August 1901, after an inspection by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. During their visit, Scott was invested as a Member of the Royal Victorian Order. The ship's handling was not quite as Scott had desired, due to defects in the hull that had not been discovered before the ship had been launched, and this was to slow down the voyage considerably.
On 8th February 1902, the ship anchored in McMurdo Sound at Ross Island at the foot of Mount Erebus. The team made camp at a spot that became known as Hut Point. This was to be their base camp for the next two years. In November 1902, Scott set off southwards with a party consisting of Ernest Shackleton and Adrian Wilson to explore the Antarctic interior. The journey was hard and the team suffered physical and mental hardships, including an attack of scurvy. They returned to base camp on 3 February 1903 having discovered that the South Victoria mountain range continued southwards and having been the furthest south that human beings had ever been. On the same day, a relief vessel, Morning with supplies and mail for the team arrived. On March 2nd, Morning left the Discovery, still ice-bound, and sailed for Lyttelton in New Zealand, carrying some members of the original team who were to return due to lack of supplies to support the whole team. Included amongst them was Shackleton, whose health had suffered during the southern expedition.
In October, Scott set off on a second expedition. This time, he headed west to explore the polar ice cap. His team included Petty Officer Edgar Evans and Leading Stoker William Lashly, both of whom were to join him in his later expedition. Like his previous expeditions, this one was beset by problems and hardships, not least the loss of the navigation tables. On 30th November, they turned back with little idea of where they were in relation to the base camp. They eventually arrived back at Hut Point in mid-December, to find that the team members who had remained had been trying to crack the ice that was still holding the ship. On January 5th 1904, Morning returned to Ross Island, accompanied by a whaling ship, Terra Nova. Scott received orders from the Admiralty to return, and if necessary, abandon the Discovery if it could not be released from the ice. However, during the first week of February, the ice began to break up and all three ships could depart on 16th February. The following day a severe gale hindered progress but they eventually arrived in New Zealand in April.
The expedition had been a tremendous success. As well as Scott's explorations, the team had been able to take soundings of the Ross Sea, investigate the structure of the continent, fix the position of the South Magnetic Pole and undertook observations the natural life of the continent, including the colony of Emperor Penguins at Cape Crozier. Personally, Scott had showed his leadership skills and his ability to undertake scientific research. The expedition reached Britain in the autumn of 1904, arriving at Stokes Bay, near Portsmouth on September 10th. She was escorted into Portsmouth harbour by many small vessels and by guards of honour from the naval ships moored there.
Scott received many national and international honours in recognition of his work on the southern continent. These included the French Legion of Honour, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), awarded the Polar Medal and promotion to the rank of Captain, dated from his return to Portsmouth. Scott asked the First Sea Lord for a leave of absence in order to write up his narrative of the expedition. During this period, he was attached to the Admiralty as an Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence.
On 21 August 1906, he returned to a sea-going naval post as Flag Captain of Rear-Admiral Egerton on HMS Victorious. However, Scott's thoughts continued towards further exploration and the ultimate goal of reaching the South Pole, while Shackleton was already making plans for an expedition of his own. At the beginning of January 1907, Scott was transferred to HMS Albemarle. In the same year, he met Kathleen Bruce and on 2nd September 1908, they were married at the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court, for which special permission had been granted from the King. In May 1908, he had been appointed to HMS Bulwark, flagship of the Nore Division, after a brief period in command of HMS Essex since January.
In March 1909, Scott was appointed as Naval Secretary to the Second Sea Lord, Sir Frances Bridgeman. He was the first naval officer to hold this appointment, normally held by civil servants. Any free time he could spare from his duties were spent working on plans for a second Antarctic expedition. At the same time, news came of Shackleton’s expedition having reached the magnetic South Pole, getting to within 100 miles of the South Pole and the discovery of the Beardmore glaicer. On 19 June 1909, while chairing a dinner in honour of Shackleton, Scott declared the intention of another expedition to claim the South Pole for Britain. An office for the British Antarctic Expedition 1910 was set up in London’s Victoria Street in September and the plans and goals for the expedition were published, followed a month later by a fundraising campaign. Another momentous event in Scott’s life also occurred at this time. His wife gave birth to a son, Peter Markham Scott on 14th September.
The ship chosen for the voyage was the Terra Nova. The ship sailed from Cardiff on 15 June, heading for the Cape. Scott left separately for the Cape on the 16th, accompanied by his wife and two other wives of the officers of the crew. They reached Cape Town on 2nd August and waited for the survey vessel to arrive. He joined it and sailed to Australia. On their arrival at Melbourne, Scott received the news that the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was also heading south for the Pole. The race was on to see who would get there first.
The Terra Nova’s last call was to New Zealand and left civilisation on 29th November 1910. They arrived at McMurdo Sound on 5th January 1911 and made camp. Scott began his journey to the Pole on 11th November, following Shackleton’s route of 1909. On 4th January 1912, the last supporting team left and Scott continued on the journey with a small team of four: Dr Wilson, Captain Oates, Lieutenant Bowers and Petty Officer Evans. The journey was an arduous one with the team having to cope with blizzards and temperatures as low as minus 23 degrees. On 16th January 1912, Scott and his party reached the South Pole, only to find a Norwegian flag and a note from Amundsen stating that his party had reached the Pole on 14th December 1911.
The return journey began well and they made good progress despite the prevailing weather conditions. However, the team began to suffer from the cold and exhaustion, and frostbite was beginning to set in, with Evans and Oates being the main sufferers. Food supplies were beginning to dwindle and the depot camp could not supplement it.
On 17th February, the first member of the team met his death. Petty Officer Evans had been losing strength and was lagging behind the sledge team. The others went back to carry him on a sledge. He lost consciousness and died at 10pm. He was buried in the surrounding area. The team continued on but conditions got worse and supplies were running out. Oates was becoming severely affected by frostbite. On the 17th, after asking Scott to leave him behind while the team continued, he walked out off the tent and was never seen again. Unknown to Scott, eleven miles northward, the team at One Ton Depot camp was preparing to leave, having waited a week for the Polar team’s return. With supplies running out, they retraced their route to the winter base at Cape Evans. Gale force blizzard made travelling impossible and the team remained in their tent. On 29th March 1912, Scott made his last entry in his diary. “We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write anymore.” It is supposed that he may have remained alive for one or two days more after that, alongside the bodies of Wilson and Bowers.
Eight months later a search party, led by Dr Atkinson, discovered the tent and bodies of the comrades, along with the diaries and last letters of Scott. Scott had written a message to the public explaining the reasons for the failure. Important specimens from the Beardmore glacier were also found, which, being heavy, must have hindered the progress of the team, who had refused to abandon them, even in the face of their difficulties. The discoverers left the tent where it was and built a snow cairn headed by a cross in tribute to the lost explorers. Later, a memorial was put up at Observation Hill, at Hut Point with the words “to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”
News of the demise of the Polar team reached Britain in February 1913. A memorial service was held in St Paul’s Cathedral. Scott was posthumously awarded a Knight Commander of the Bath and Kathleen retained the rights and privileges of the rank. A campaign was launched to raise a memorial fund to continue with the scientific work Scott had been actively involved with and the Scott Polar Research Institute was founded.



Petty Officer Edgar Evans

A native of the Gower, Edgar Evans served on both Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ‘Discovery’ Antarctic Expedition (1901 - 1904) and his ‘Terra Nova’ Antarctic Expedition (1910 - 1913). ‘Taff’ Evans reached the South Pole with Scott’s polar party on 17th January 1912, just one month after Roald Amundsen. He died at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier on 17th February 1912, on the return journey from the Pole. All five members of the Polar party perished on that fateful mission.
The bust of Edgar Evans was Commissioned by the Captain Scott Society, Cardiff and was sculpted by Philip Chatfield, himself a native of the Gower. Fashioned from white Italian marble, it depicts the subject wearing the harness with which the men hauled their sledge.
It was presented to the people of Swansea by the Lord Mayor of the City of Cardiff and received on their behalf by Sir Michael Llewellyn, the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan. The presentation took place at a Ceremony in the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, on the17th February1994, the 82nd Anniversary of Edgar Evans’ death.
The bust now stands in the Swansea Museum

source the scott society


I love reading about the people involved in exploration, their lives in the everyday are often as normal as ours, but there is a spark of the unknown in their minds which leads the to great achievements, I am very proud to be British and to celebrate our people, its the mix of histories good and bad that make us as a people.

hope you enjoy the text presented here, I have linked or copy pasted from sites I enjoy reading, I hope you do too.


Have fun!


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
Was a good interview with Ranulp Fiennes about Scott on breakfast tv the other day. He was a huge fan I think of Scott and corrected a few mis-conceptions about the fateful exped. Namely it was still a scientific success up to then and it only really failed like that because two members had lied about injuries which slowed the team down and indeed they would never have been picked for the pole part of the exped.

That was compared to the Shackleton exped which I had always respected for him getting them all home. I didn't know that whereas the Scott exped was so well panned and it was only those two misleading him that led to their demise. The Shackleton exped had very little scientific success, the other part of the exped to lay down food failed spectacularly with death and the whole trip was not well planned at all compared to Scott's.

I didn't know that but I do salute the bravery and attitude of both those two leaders. Along with the likes of Roald Amundsen of course.

Interesting thread SOuthey.

ex-member Raikey

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 4, 2010
saved for later,....

Cheers Southey Lad....

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