The Voyages of Captain Scott - Retold from 'The Voyage of the "Discovery"' and 'Scott's - Last Expedition'
by Charles Turley
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'It is quite impossible,' he wrote during this time of waiting, 'to speak too highly of my companions. Each fulfils his office to the party; Wilson, first as doctor, ever on the lookout to alleviate the small pains and troubles incidental to the work; now as cook, quick, careful and dexterous, ever thinking of some fresh expedient to help the camp life; tough as steel on the traces, never wavering from start to finish.

'Evans, a giant worker with a really remarkable head-piece. It is only now I realize how much has been due to him. Our ski shoes and crampons have been [Page 377] absolutely indispensable, and if the original ideas were not his, the details of manufacture and design and the good workmanship are his alone. He is responsible for every sledge, every sledge fitting, tents, sleeping-bags, harness, and when one cannot recall a single expression of dissatisfaction with anyone of these items, it shows what an invaluable assistant he has been. Now, besides superintending the putting up of the tent, he thinks out and arranges the packing of the sledge; it is extraordinary how neatly and handily everything is stowed, and how much study has been given to preserving the suppleness and good running qualities of the machine. On the Barrier, before the ponies were killed, he was ever roaming round, correcting faults of stowage.

'Little Bowers remains a marvel—he is thoroughly enjoying himself. I leave all the provision arrangement in his hands, and at all times he knows exactly how we stand, or how each returning party should fare. It has been a complicated business to redistribute stores at various stages of reorganization, but not one single mistake has been made. In addition to the stores, he keeps the most thorough and conscientious meteorological record, and to this he now adds the duty of observer and photographer. Nothing comes amiss to him, and no work is too hard. It is a difficulty to get him into the tent; he seems quite oblivious of the cold, and he lies coiled in his bag writing and working out sights long after the others are asleep.

'Of these three it is a matter for thought and [Page 378] congratulation that each is specially suited for his own work, but would not be capable of doing that of the others as well as it is done. Each is invaluable. Oates had his invaluable period with the ponies; now he is a foot slogger and goes hard the whole time, does his share of camp work, and stands the hardships as well as any of us. I would not like to be without him either. So our five people are perhaps as happily selected as it is possible to imagine.'

Not until after lunch on the 9th were they able to break camp, the light being extremely bad when they marched, but the surface good. So that they might keep up the average length of their daily marches Scott wanted to leave a depot, but as the blizzard tended to drift up their tracks, he was not altogether confident that to leave stores on such a great plain was a wise proceeding. However, after a terribly hard march on the following morning, they decided to leave a depot at the lunch camp, and there they built a cairn and left one week's food with as many articles of clothing as they could possibly spare.

Then they went forward with eighteen days' food on a surface that was 'beyond words,' for it was covered with sandy snow, and, when the sun shone, even to move the sledge forward at the slowest pace was distressingly difficult. On that night from Camp 62, Scott wrote, 'Only 85 miles (geog.) from the Pole, but it's going to be a stiff pull both ways apparently; still we do make progress, which is something.... It is very difficult to imagine what is [Page 379] happening to the weather.... The clouds don't seem to come from anywhere, form and disperse without visible reason.... The meteorological conditions seem to point to an area of variable light winds, and that plot will thicken as we advance.'

From the very beginning of the march on January 11 the pulling was heavy, but when the sun came out the surface became as bad as bad could be. All the time the sledge rasped and creaked, and the work of moving it onward was agonizing. At lunch-time they had managed to cover six miles but at fearful cost to themselves, and although when they camped for the night they were only about 74 miles from the Pole, Scott asked himself whether they could possibly keep up such a strain for seven more days. 'It takes it out of us like anything. None of us ever had such hard work before.... Our chance still holds good if we can put the work in, but it's a terribly trying time.'

For a few minutes during the next afternoon they experienced the almost forgotten delight of having the sledge following easily. The experience was very short but it was also very sweet, for Scott had begun to fear that their powers of pulling were rapidly weakening, and those few minutes showed him that they only wanted a good surface to get on as merrily as of old. At night they were within 63 miles of the Pole, and just longing for a better surface to help them on their way.

But whatever the condition of the surface, Bowers continued to do his work with characteristic [Page 380] thoroughness and imperturbability; and after this appalling march he insisted, in spite of Scott's protest, on taking sights after they had camped—an all the more remarkable display of energy as he, being the only one of the party who pulled on foot, had spent an even more strenuous day than the others, who had been 'comparatively restful on ski.'

Again, on the next march, they had to pull with all their might to cover some 11 miles. 'It is wearisome work this tugging and straining to advance a light sledge. Still, we get along. I did manage to get my thoughts off the work for a time to-day, which is very restful. We should be in a poor way without our ski, though Bowers manages to struggle through the soft snow without tiring his short legs.' Sunday night, January 14, found them at Camp 66 and less than 40 miles from the Pole. Steering was the great difficulty on this march, because a light southerly wind with very low drift often prevented Scott from seeing anything, and Bowers, in Scott's shadow, gave directions. By this time the feet of the whole party were beginning, mainly owing to the bad condition of their finnesko, to suffer from the cold. 'Oates seems to be feeling the cold and fatigue more than the rest of us, but we are all very fit. It is a critical time, but we ought to pull through.... Oh! for a few fine days! So close it seems and only the weather to balk us.'

Another terrible surface awaited them on the morrow, and they were all 'pretty well done' when [Page 381] they camped for lunch. There they decided to leave their last depot, but although their reduced load was now very light, Scott feared that the friction would not be greatly reduced. A pleasant surprise, however, was in store for him, as after lunch the sledge ran very lightly, and a capital march was made. 'It is wonderful,' he wrote on that night (January 15), 'to think that two long marches would land us at the Pole. We left our depot to-day with nine days' provisions, so that it ought to be a certain thing now, and the only appalling possibility the sight of the Norwegian flag forestalling ours. Little Bowers continues his indefatigable efforts to get good sights, and it is wonderful how he works them up in his sleeping-bag in our congested tent. Only 27 miles from the Pole. We ought to do it now.'

The next morning's march took them 7-1/2 miles nearer and their noon sight showed them in Lat. 89 deg. 42' S.; and feeling that the following day would see them at the Pole they started off after lunch in the best of spirits. Then, after advancing for an hour or so, Bowers' sharp eyes detected what he thought was a cairn, but although he was uneasy about it he argued that it must be a sastrugus.

'Half an hour later he detected a black speck ahead. Soon we knew that this could not be a natural snow feature. We marched on, found that it was a black flag tied to a sledge bearer; near by the remains of a camp; sledge tracks and ski tracks going and coming and the clear trace of dogs' paws—many dogs. [Page 382] This told us the whole story. The Norwegians have forestalled us and are first at the Pole. It is a terrible disappointment, and I am very sorry for my loyal companions. Many thoughts come and much discussion have we had. To-morrow we must march on to the Pole and then hasten home with all the speed we can compass. All the day-dreams must go; it will be a wearisome return. Certainly also the Norwegians found an easy way up.'

Very little sleep came to any of the party after the shock of this discovery, and when they started at 7.30 on the next morning (January 17) head winds with a temperature of -22 deg. added to their depression of spirit. For some way they followed the Norwegian tracks, and in about three miles they passed two cairns. Then, as the tracks became increasingly drifted up and were obviously leading them too far to the west, they decided to make straight for the Pole according to their calculations. During the march they covered about 14 miles, and at night Scott wrote in his journal, 'The Pole. Yes, but under very different circumstances from those expected.'

That announcement tells its own story, and it would be impertinent to guess at the feelings of those intrepid travelers when they found themselves forestalled. Nevertheless they had achieved the purpose they had set themselves, and the fact that they could not claim the reward of priority makes not one jot of difference in estimating the honours that belong to them.

[Page 383] 'Well,' Scott continued, 'it is something to have got here, and the wind may be our friend to-morrow.... Now for the run home and a desperate struggle. I wonder if we can do it.'

On the following morning after summing up all their observations, they came to the conclusion that they were one mile beyond the Pole and three miles to the right of it, in which direction, more or less, Bowers could see a tent or cairn. A march of two miles from their camp took them to the tent, in which they found a record of five Norwegians having been there:

'Roald Amundsen Olav Olavson Bjaaland Hilmer Hanssen Sverre H. Hassel Oscar Wisting. —16 Dec. 1911.

'The tent is fine—a small compact affair supported by a single bamboo. A note from Amundsen, which I keep, asks me to forward a letter to King Haakon!'

In the tent a medley of articles had been left: three half bags of reindeer containing a miscellaneous assortment of mitts and sleeping-socks, very various in description, a sextant, a Norwegian artificial horizon and a hypsometer without boiling-point thermometers, a sextant and hypsometer of English make. 'Left a note to say I had visited the tent with companions. Bowers photographing and Wilson sketching. Since lunch we have marched 6.2 miles S.S.E. by compass (i.e. northwards). Sights at lunch gave us 1/2 to 3/4 [Page 384] of a mile from the Pole, so we call it the Pole Camp. (Temp. Lunch -21 deg..) We built a cairn, put up our poor slighted Union Jack, and photographed ourselves—mighty cold work all of it—less than 1/2 a mile south we saw stuck up an old underrunner of a sledge. This we commandeered as a yard for a floorcloth sail. I imagine it was intended to mark the exact spot of the Pole as near as the Norwegians could fix it. (Height 9,500.) A note attached talked of the tent as being 2 miles from the Pole. Wilson keeps the note. There is no doubt that our predecessors have made thoroughly sure of their mark and fully carried out their program. I think the Pole is about 9,500 feet in height; this is remarkable, considering that in Lat. 88 deg. we were about 10,500.

'We carried the Union Jack about 3/4 of a mile north with us and left it on a piece of stick as near as we could fix it. I fancy the Norwegians arrived at the Pole on the 15th Dec. and left on the 17th, ahead of a date quoted by me in London as ideal, viz. Dec. 22.... Well, we have turned our back now on the goal of our ambition and must face our 800 miles of solid dragging—and good-bye to most of the day-dreams!'

[Page 385] CHAPTER X


It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll; I am the master of my fate, I am the Captain of my soul.—HENLEY.

During the afternoon of Thursday, January 18, they left the Pole 7 miles behind them, and early in the march on the following morning picked up their outward tracks and a Norwegian cairn. These tracks they followed until they came to the black flag that had been the first means of telling them of the Norwegians' success. 'We have picked this flag up, using the staff for our sail, and are now camped about 1-1/2 miles further back on our tracks. So that is the last of the Norwegians for the present.'

In spite of a surface that was absolutely spoilt by crystals they marched 18-1/2 miles on the Friday, and also easily found the cairns that they had built; but until they reached Three Degree Depot which was still 150 miles away, anxiety, Scott said, could not be laid to rest.

On the next day they reached their Southern [Page 386] Depot and picked up four days' food. With the wind behind them and with full sail they went along at a splendid rate in the afternoon, until they were pulled up by a surface on which drifting snow was lying in heaps; and then, with the snow clinging to the ski, pulling became terribly distressing. 'I shall be very glad when Bowers gets his ski,' Scott wrote at R. 3,[1] 'I'm afraid he must find these long marches very trying with short legs, but he is an undefeated little sportsman. I think Oates is feeling the cold and fatigue more than most of us. It is blowing pretty hard to-night, but with a good march we have earned one good hoosh and are very comfortable in the tent. It is everything now to keep up a good marching pace; I trust we shall be able to do so and catch the ship. Total march, 18-1/2 miles.'

[Footnote 1: A number preceded by R. marks the camps on the return journey.]

A stiff blizzard with thick snow awaited them on the Sunday morning, but the weather cleared after mid-day, and they struggled on for a few very weary hours. At night they had 6 days' food in hand and 45 miles between them and their next depot, where they had left 7 days' food to take them on the go miles to the Three Degree Depot. 'Once there we ought to be safe, but we ought to have a day or two in hand on arrival and may have difficulty with following the tracks. However, if we can get a rating sight for our watches to-morrow we should be independent of the tracks at a pinch.'

January 22 brought an added worry in the fact [Page 387] that the ski boots were beginning to show signs of wear, but this was nothing compared with the anxiety Scott began to feel about Evans on the following day. 'There is no doubt that Evans is a good deal run down—his fingers are badly blistered and his nose is rather seriously congested with frequent frost-bites. He is very much annoyed with himself, which is not a good sign. I think Wilson, Bowers and I are as fit as possible under the circumstances. Oates gets cold feet.... We are only about 13 miles from our "Degree and half" Depot and should get there tomorrow. The weather seems to be breaking up. Pray God we have something of a track to follow to the Three Degree Depot—once we pick that up we ought to be right.'

Another blizzard attacked them at mid-day on the morrow, and so, though only seven miles from their depot, they were obliged to camp, for it was impossible to see the tracks. With the prospect of bad weather and scant food on the tremendous summit journey in front of them, and with Oates and Evans suffering badly from frost-bites, Scott had to admit that the situation was going from bad to worse. But on the next afternoon, they managed to reach the Half Degree Depot, and left with 9-1/2 days' provision to carry them the next 89 miles.

During Friday, January 26, they found their old tracks completely wiped out, but knowing that there were two cairns at four-mile intervals they were not anxious until they picked up the first far on their right, and afterwards Bowers caught a glimpse of the second which was far on their [Page 388] left. 'There is not a sign of our tracks between these cairns, but the last, marking our night camp of the 6th, No. 59, is in the belt of hard sastrugi, and I was comforted to see signs of the track reappearing as we camped. I hope to goodness we can follow it to-morrow.'

Throughout the early part of the next day's march, however, these hopes were not realized. Scott and Wilson pulling in front on ski, the others being on foot, found it very difficult to follow the track, which constantly disappeared altogether and at the best could only just be seen.

On the outward journey, owing to the heavy mounds, they had been compelled to take a very zigzag course, and in consequence the difficulty of finding signs of it was greatly increased. But by hook or crook they succeeded in sticking to the old track, and during the last part of the march they discovered, to their joy and relief, that it was much easier to follow. Through this march they were helped on their way by a southerly breeze, and as the air was at last dry again their tents and equipment began to lose the icy state caused by the recent blizzards. On the other hand, they were beginning to feel that more food, especially at lunch, was becoming more and more necessary, and their sleeping-bags, although they managed to sleep well enough in them, were slowly but steadily getting wetter.

On Sunday night, at R. 11, they were only 43 miles [Page 389] from their depot with six days food in hand, after doing a good march of 16 miles. 'If this goes on and the weather holds we shall get our depot without trouble. I shall indeed be glad to get it on the sledge. We are getting more hungry, there is no doubt. The lunch meal is beginning to seem inadequate. We are pretty thin, especially Evans, but none of us are feeling worked out. I doubt if we could drag heavy loads, but we can keep going with our light one. We talk of food a good deal more, and shall be glad to open out on it.

With the wind helping greatly and with no difficulty in finding the tracks, two splendid marches followed; but on the Tuesday their position had its serious as well as its bright side, for Wilson strained a tendon in his leg. 'It has,' Scott wrote, 'given pain all day and is swollen to-night. Of course, he is full of pluck over it, but I don't like the idea of such an accident here. To add to the trouble Evans has dislodged two finger-nails to-night; his hands are really bad, and to my surprise he shows signs of losing heart over it. He hasn't been cheerful since the accident.... We can get along with bad fingers, but it [will be] a mighty serious thing if Wilson's leg doesn't improve.'

Before lunch on Wednesday, January 31, they picked up the Three Degree Depot, and were able slightly to increase their rations, though not until they reached the pony food depot could they look for a 'real feed.' After lunch (January 31) the surface, owing to sandy crystals, was very bad, and with Wilson [Page 390] walking by the sledge to rest his leg as much as possible, pulling was even more toilsome work than usual. During the afternoon they picked up Bowers' ski, which he had left on December 31. 'The last thing we have to find on the summit, thank Heaven! Now we have only to go north and so shall welcome strong winds.'

Pulling on throughout the next day they reached a lunch cairn, which had been made when they were only a week out from the Upper Glacier Depot. With eight days' food in hand Scott hoped that they would easily reach it, for their increased food allowance was having a good effect upon all of them, and Wilson's leg was better. On the other hand, Evans was still a cause for considerable anxiety.

All went very well during their march to R. 16 on February 2 until Scott, trying to keep the track and his feet at the same time on a very slippery surface, came 'an awful purler' on his shoulder. 'It is horribly sore to-night and another sick person added to our tent—three out of five injured, and the most troublesome surfaces to come. We shall be lucky if we get through without serious injury.... The extra food is certainly helping us, but we are getting pretty hungry.... It is time we were off the summit—Pray God another four days will see us pretty well clear of it. Our bags are getting very wet and we ought to have more sleep.'

On leaving their sixteenth camp they were within 80 miles or so of the Upper Glacier Depot under Mount Darwin, and after exasperating delays in searching for [Page 391] tracks and cairns, they resolved to waste no more time, but to push due north just as fast as they could. Evans' fingers were still very bad, and there was little hope that he would be able for some time to help properly with the work, and on the following day an accident that entailed the most serious consequences happened.

'Just before lunch,' Scott wrote at R. 18, 'unexpectedly fell into crevasses, Evans and I together—a second fall for Evans,[1] and I camped. After lunch saw disturbance ahead.... We went on ski over hard shiny descending surface. Did very well, especially towards end of march, covering in all 18.1.... The party is not improving in condition, especially Evans, who is becoming rather dull and incapable. Thank the Lord we have good food at each meal, but we get hungrier in spite of it. Bowers is splendid, full of energy and bustle all the time.'

[Footnote 1: Wilson afterwards expressed an opinion that Evans injured his brain by one of these falls.]

On Monday morning a capital advance of over 10 miles was made, but in the afternoon difficulties again arose to harass them. Huge pressures and great street crevasses partly open barred their way, and so they had to steer more and more to the west on a very erratic course. Camping-time found them still in a very disturbed region, and although they were within 25 to 30 miles of their depot there seemed to be no way through the disturbances that continued to block their path. On turning out to continue their march they went straight for Mount Darwin, but almost at once [Page 392] found themselves among huge open chasms. To avoid these they turned northwards between two of them, with the result that they got into chaotic disturbance. Consequently they were compelled to retrace their steps for a mile or so, and then striking to the west they got among a confused sea of sastrugi, in the midst of which they camped for lunch. A little better fortune attended them in the afternoon, and at their twentieth camp Scott estimated that they were anything from 10 to 15 miles off the Upper Glacier Depot. 'Food is low and weather uncertain,' he wrote, 'so that many hours of the day were anxious; but this evening (February 6), though we are not so far advanced as I expected, the outlook is much more promising. Evans is the chief anxiety now; his cuts and wounds suppurate, his nose looks very bad, and altogether he shows considerable signs of being played out. Things may mend for him on the Glacier, and his wounds get some respite under warmer conditions. I am indeed glad to think we shall so soon have done with plateau conditions. It took us 27 days to reach the Pole and 21 days back—in all 48 days—nearly 7 weeks in low temperature with almost incessant wind.'

February 7, which was to see the end of their summit journey, opened with a very tiresome march down slopes and over terraces covered with hard sastrugi. However, they made fairly good progress during the day, and between six and seven o'clock their depot was sighted and soon afterwards they were camped close to it. 'Well,' Scott wrote at R. 21, [Page 393] 'we have come through our 7 weeks' ice camp journey and most of us are fit, but I think another week might have had a very bad effect on P.O. Evans, who is going steadily downhill.'

On the next morning they started late owing to various re-arrangements having to be made, and then steered for Mt. Darwin to get specimens. As Wilson was still unable to use his ski, Bowers went on and got several specimens of much the same type—a close-grained granite rock which weathers red; and as soon as Bowers had rejoined the party they skidded downhill fairly fast, Scott and Bowers (the leaders) being on ski, Wilson and Oates on foot alongside the sledge, while Evans was detached.

By lunch-time they were well down towards Mt. Buckley, and decided to steer for the moraine under the mountain. Having crossed some very irregular steep slopes with big crevasses, they slid down towards the rocks, and then they saw that the moraine was so interesting that, after an advance of some miles had brought escape from the wind, the decision was made to camp and spend the rest of the day in geologising.

'It has been extremely interesting. We found ourselves under perpendicular cliffs of Beacon sandstone, weathering rapidly and carrying veritable coal seams. From the last Wilson, with his sharp eyes, has picked several plant impressions, the last a piece of coal with beautifully traced leaves in layers, also some excellently preserved impressions of thick stems, [Page 394] showing cellular structure. In one place we saw the cast of small waves in the sand. To-night Bill has got a specimen of limestone with archeo-cyathus—the trouble is one cannot imagine where the stone comes from; it is evidently rare, as few specimens occur in the moraine. There is a good deal of pure white quartz. Altogether we have had a most interesting afternoon, and the relief of being out of the wind and in a warmer temperature is inexpressible. I hope and trust we shall all buck up again now that the conditions are more favorable.... A lot could be written on the delight of setting foot on rock after 14 weeks of snow and ice, and nearly 7 out of sight of aught else. It is like going ashore after a sea voyage.'

On the following morning they kept along the edge of the moraine to the end of Mt. Buckley, and again stopping to geologise, Wilson had a great find of vegetable impression in a piece of limestone. The time spent in collecting these geological specimens from the Beardmore Glacier, and the labour endured in dragging the additional 35 lbs. to their last camp, were doubtless a heavy price to pay; but great as the cost was they were more than willing to pay it. The fossils contained in these specimens, often so inconspicuous that it is a wonder they were discovered by the collectors, proved to be the most valuable obtained by the expedition, and promise to solve completely the questions of the age and past history of this portion of the Antarctic continent. At night, after a difficult day among bad ice pressures, Scott almost apologizes for [Page 395] being too tired to write any geological notes, and as the sledgemeter had been unshipped he could not tell the distance they had traversed. 'Very warm on march and we are all pretty tired.... Our food satisfies now, but we must march to keep on the full ration, and we want rest, yet we shall pull through all right, D. V. We are by no means worn out.'

On the night of Friday, February 10, they got some of the sleep that was so urgently needed, and in consequence there was a great change for the better in the appearance of everyone. Their progress, however, was delayed during the next afternoon by driving snow, which made steering impossible and compelled them to camp. 'We have two full days' food left,' Scott wrote on the same evening, 'and though our position is uncertain, we are certainly within two outward marches from the middle glacier depot. However, if the weather doesn't clear by to-morrow, we must either march blindly on or reduce food.'

The conditions on Sunday morning were utterly wretched for the surface was bad and the light horrible, but they marched on until, with the light getting worse and worse, they suddenly found themselves in pressure. Then, unfortunately, they decided to steer east, and after struggling on for several hours found themselves in a regular trap. Having for a short time in the earlier part of the day got on to a good surface, they thought that all was going well and did not reduce their lunch rations. But half an hour after lunch they suddenly got into a terrible ice mess.

[Page 396] For three hours they plunged forward on ski, first thinking that they were too much to the right, and then too much to the left; meanwhile the disturbance got worse and worse, and there were moments when Scott nearly despaired of finding a way out of the awful turmoil in which they found themselves. At length, arguing that there must be a way out on the left, they plunged in that direction, only to find that the surface was more icy and crevassed.

'We could not manage our ski and pulled on foot, falling into crevasses every minute—most luckily no bad accident. At length we saw a smoother slope towards the land, pushed for it, but knew it was a woefully long way from us. The turmoil changed in character, irregular crevassed surface giving way to huge chasms, closely packed and most difficult to cross. It was very heavy work, but we had grown desperate. We won through at 10 P.M., and I write after 12 hours on the march. I think we are on or about the right track now, but we are still a good number of miles from the depot, so we reduced rations to-night. We had three pemmican meals left and decided to make them into four. To-morrow's lunch must serve for two if we do not make big progress. It was a test of our endurance on the march and our fitness with small supper. We have come through well.'

On leaving R. 25, early on Monday morning, everything went well in the forenoon and a good march was made over a fair surface. Two hours before lunch they were cheered by the sight of their night [Page 397] camp of December 18 (the day after they had made their depot), for this showed them that they were still on the right track. In the afternoon, refreshed by tea, they started off confidently expecting to reach their depot, but by a most unfortunate chance they kept too far to the left and arrived in a maze of crevasses and fissures. Afterwards their course became very erratic, and finally, at 9 P.M., they landed in the worst place of all.

'After discussion we decided to camp, and here we are, after a very short supper and one meal only remaining in the food bag; the depot doubtful in locality. We must get there to-morrow. Meanwhile we are cheerful with an effort.'

On that night, at Camp R. 26, Scott says that they all slept well in spite of grave anxieties, his own being increased by his visits outside the tent, when he saw the sky closing over and snow beginning to fall. At their ordinary hour for getting up the weather was so thick that they had to remain in their sleeping-bags; but presently the weather cleared enough for Scott dimly to see the land of the Cloudmaker. Then they got up and after breakfasting off some tea and one biscuit, so that they might leave their scanty remaining meal for even greater emergencies, they started to march through an awful turmoil of broken ice. In about an hour, however, they hit upon an old moraine track where the surface was much smoother, though the fog that was still hanging over everything added to their difficulties. [Page 398] Presently Evans raised their hopes with a shout of depot ahead, but it proved to be nothing but a shadow on the ice, and then Wilson suddenly saw the actual depot flag. 'It was an immense relief, and we were soon in possession of our 3-1/2 days' food. The relief to all is inexpressible; needless to say, we camped and had a meal.'

Marching on in the afternoon Scott kept more to the left, and closed the mountain until they came to the stone moraines, where Wilson detached himself and made a collection, while the others advanced with the sledge. Writing that night (Tuesday, February 13) at 'Camp R. 27, beside Cloudmaker' Scott says, 'We camped late, abreast the lower end of the mountain, and had nearly our usual satisfying supper. Yesterday was the worst experience of the trip and gave a horrid feeling of insecurity. Now we are right, but we must march. In future food must be worked so that we do not run so short if the weather fails us. We mustn't get into a hole like this again.... Bowers has had a very bad attack of snow-blindness, and Wilson another almost as bad. Evans has no power to assist with camping work.'

A good march followed to Camp R. 28, and with nearly three days' food they were about 30 miles away from the Lower Glacier Depot. On the other hand, Scott was becoming most gravely concerned about the condition of the party, and especially about Evans, who seemed to be going from bad to worse. [Page 399] And on the next evening, after a heavy march he wrote, 'We don't know our distance from the depot, but imagine about 20 miles. We are pulling for food and not very strong evidently.... We have reduced food, also sleep; feeling rather done. Trust 1-1/2 days or 2 at most will see us at depot.'

Friday's march brought them within 10 or 12 miles of their depot, and with food enough to last them until the next night; but anxiety about Evans was growing more and more intense. 'Evans has nearly broken down in brain, we think. He is absolutely changed from his normal self-reliant self. This morning and this afternoon he stopped the march on some trivial excuse.... Memory should hold the events of a very troublesome march with more troubles ahead. Perhaps all will be well if we can get to our depot to-morrow fairly early, but it is anxious work with the sick man.'

On the following morning (Saturday, February 17) Evans looked a little better after a good sleep, and declared, as he always did, that he was quite well; but half an hour after he had started in his place on the traces, he worked his ski shoes adrift and had to leave the sledge. At the time the surface was awful, the soft snow, which had recently fallen, clogging the ski and runners at every step, the sledge groaning, the sky overcast, and the land hazy. They stopped for about an hour, and then Evans came up again, but very slowly. Half an hour later he dropped out again on the same plea, and asked Bowers to lend [Page 400] him a piece of string. Scott cautioned him to come on as quickly as he could, and he gave what seemed to be a cheerful answer. Then the others were compelled to push on, until abreast the Monument Rock they halted and, seeing Evans a long way behind, decided to camp for lunch.

At first there was no alarm, but when they looked out after lunch and saw him still afar off they were thoroughly frightened, and all four of them started back on ski. Scott was the first to meet the poor man, who was on his knees with hands uncovered and frost-bitten and a wild look in his eyes. When asked what was the matter, he replied slowly that he didn't know, but thought that he must have fainted.

They managed to get him on his feet, but after two or three steps he sank down again and showed every sign of complete collapse. Then Scott, Wilson and Bowers hastened back for the sledge, while Oates remained with him.

'When we returned he was practically unconscious, and when we got him into the tent quite comatose. He died quietly at 12.30 A.M.'

[Page 401] CHAPTER XI


Men like a man who has shown himself a pleasant companion through a week's walking tour. They worship the man who, over thousands of miles, for hundreds of days, through renewed difficulties and efforts, has brought them without friction, arrogance or dishonour to the victory proposed, or to the higher glory of unshaken defeat.—R. KIPLING.

After this terrible experience the rest of the party marched on later in the night, and arrived at their depot; there they allowed themselves five hours' sleep and then marched to Shambles Camp, which they reached at 3 P.M. on Sunday, February 18. Plenty of horse meat awaited them, with the prospect of plenty to come if they could only keep up good marches. 'New life seems to come with greater food almost immediately, but I am anxious about the Barrier surfaces.'

A late start was made from Shambles Camp, because much work had to be done in shifting sledges[1] and fitting up the new one with a mast, &c., and in packing [Page 402] horse meat and personal effects. Soon after noon, however, they got away, and found the surface every bit as bad as they expected. Moreover Scott's fears that there would not be much change during the next few days were most thoroughly justified. On the Monday afternoon they had to pullover a really terrible surface that resembled desert sand. And the same conditions awaited them on the following day, when, after four hours' plodding in the morning, they reached Desolation Camp. At this camp they had hoped to find more pony meat, but disappointment awaited them. 'Total mileage for day 7,' Scott wrote at R. 34, 'the ski tracks pretty plain and easily followed this afternoon.... Terribly slow progress, but we hope for better things as we clear the land.... Pray God we get better traveling as we are not so fit as we were, and the season is advancing apace.'

[Footnote 1: Sledges were left at the chief depots to replace damaged ones.]

Again, on Wednesday, February 21, the surface was terrible, and once more Scott expressed a devout hope that as they drew away from the land the conditions might get better; and that this improvement should come and come soon was all the more necessary because they were approaching a critical part of their journey, in which there were long distances between the cairns. 'If we can tide that over we get on the regular cairn route, and with luck should stick to it; but everything depends on the weather. We never won a march of 8-1/2 miles with greater difficulty, but we can't go on like this.'

[Page 403] Very fresh wind from the S.E., with strong surface drift, so completely wiped out the faint track they were trying to follow during the next stage of their struggle homewards, that lunch-time came without a sight of the cairn they had hoped to pass. Later in the day Bowers, feeling sure that they were too far to the west, steered out, with the result that another pony camp was passed by unseen. 'There is little doubt we are in for a rotten critical time going home, and the lateness of the season may make it really serious.... Looking at the map to-night there is no doubt we are too far to the east. With clear weather we ought to be able to correct the mistake, but will the weather clear? It's a gloomy position, more especially as one sees the same difficulty recurring even when we have corrected this error. The wind is dying down to-night and the sky clearing in the south, which is hopeful. Meanwhile it is satisfactory to note that such untoward events fail to damp the spirit of the party.'

The hopes of better weather were realized during the following day, when they started off in sunshine and with very little wind. Difficulties as to their course remained, but luckily Bowers took a round of angles, and with the help of the chart they came to the conclusion that they must be inside rather than outside the tracks. The data, however, were so meager that none of them were happy about taking the great responsibility of marching out. Then, just as they had decided to lunch, Bowers' wonderfully [Page 404] sharp eyes detected an old double lunch cairn, and the theodolite telescope confirmed it. Camp R. 37 found them within 2-1/2 miles of their depot. 'We cannot see it, but, given fine weather, we cannot miss it. We are, therefore, extraordinarily relieved.... Things are again looking up, as we are on the regular line of cairns, with no gaps right home, I hope.' In the forenoon of Saturday, February 24, the depot was reached, and there they found the store in order except for a shortage of oil. 'Shall have to be very saving with fuel.'

[Indeed from this time onward the party were increasingly in want of more oil than they found at the depots. Owing partly to the severe conditions, but still more to the delays caused by their sick comrades, they reached the full limit of time allowed for between the depots. The cold was unexpected, and at the same time the actual amount of oil found at the depots was less than Scott anticipated.

The return journey on the summit was made at good speed, for the party accomplished in 21 days what had taken them 27 days on the outward journey. But the last part of it, from Three Degree to Upper Glacier Depot, took nearly eight marches as against ten, and here can be seen the first slight slackening as P.O. Evans and Oates began to feel the cold. From the Upper Glacier to the Lower Glacier Depot there was little gain on the outward journey, partly owing to the conditions but more to Evans' gradual collapse. And from that time onward the marches [Page 405] of the weary but heroic travelers became shorter and shorter.

As regards the cause of the shortage of oil, the tins at the depots had been exposed to extreme conditions of heat and cold. The oil in the warmth of the sun—for the tins were regularly set in an accessible place on the top of the cairns—tended to become vapour and to escape through the stoppers without damage to the tins. This process was much hastened owing to the leather washers about the stoppers having perished in the great cold.

The tins awaiting the Southern party at the depots had, of course, been opened, so that the supporting parties on their way back could take their due amount. But however carefully the tins were re-stoppered, they were still liable to the unexpected evaporation and leakage, and hence, without the smallest doubt, arose the shortage which was such a desperate blow to Scott and his party.]

Apart from the storage of fuel everything was found in order at the depot, and with ten full days' provisions from the night of the 24th they had less than 70 miles between them and the Mid-Barrier depot. At lunch-time Scott wrote in a more hopeful tone, 'It is an immense relief to have picked up this depot, and, for the time, anxieties are thrust aside,' but at night, after pulling on a dreadful surface and only gaining four miles, he added, 'It really will be a bad business if we are to have this plodding all through. I don't know what to think, but the rapid closing [Page 406] of the season is ominous.... It is a race between the season and hard conditions and our fitness and good food.'

Their prospects, however, became a little brighter during the following day, when the whole march yielded 11.4 miles, 'The first double figures of steady dragging for a long time.' But what they wanted and what would not come was a wind to help them on their way. Nevertheless, although the assistance they so sorely needed was still lacking, they gained another 11-1/2 miles on their next march, and were within 43 miles of their next depot. Writing from 'R. 40. Temp. -21 deg.' on Monday night, February 26, Scott said, 'Wonderfully fine weather but cold, very cold. Nothing dries and we get our feet cold too often. We want more food yet, and especially more fat. Fuel is woefully short. We can scarcely hope to get a better surface at this season, but I wish we could have some help from the wind, though it might shake us up badly if the temp. didn't rise.'

Tuesday brought them within 31 miles of their depot, but hunger was attacking them fiercely, and they could talk of little else except food and of when and where they might possibly meet the dogs. 'It is a critical position. We may find ourselves in safety at next depot, but there is a horrid element of doubt.'

On the next day Scott decided to increase the rations, and at R. 42, which they reached after a march of 11-1/2 miles in a blightingly cold wind, they had a 'splendid pony hoosh.' The temperatures, [Page 407] however, which varied at this time between -30 deg. and -42 deg., were chilling them through and through, and to get their foot-gear on in the mornings was both a painful and a long task. 'Frightfully cold starting,' Scott wrote at lunch-time on Thursday, February 29, 'luckily Bowers and Oates in their last new finnesko; keeping my old ones for the present.... Next camp is our depot and it is exactly 13 miles. It ought not to take more than 1-1/2 days; we pray for another fine one. The oil will just about spin out in that event, and we arrive a clear day's food in hand.'

On reaching the Middle Barrier Depot, however, blow followed blow in such quick succession that hope of pulling through began to sink in spite of all their cheerfulness and courage. First they found such a shortage of oil that with the most rigid economy it could scarcely carry them on to their next depot, 71 miles away. Then Oates disclosed the fact that his feet, evidently frost-bitten by the recent low temperatures, were very bad indeed. And lastly the wind, which at first they had greeted with some joy, brought dark overcast weather. During the Friday night the temperature fell to below -40 deg., and on the next morning an hour and a half was spent before they could get on their foot-gear. 'Then on an appalling surface they lost both cairns and tracks, and at lunch Scott had to admit that they were 'in a very queer street since there is no doubt we cannot do the extra marches and feel the cold horribly.'

Afterwards they managed to pick up the track [Page 408] again, and with a march of nearly 10 miles for the day prospects brightened a little; but on the next morning they had to labour upon a surface that was coated with a thin layer of woolly crystals, which were too firmly fixed to be removed by the wind and caused impossible friction to the runners of the sledge. 'God help us,' Scott wrote at mid-day, 'we can't keep up this pulling, that is certain. Amongst ourselves we are unendingly cheerful, but what each man feels in his heart I can only guess. Putting on foot-gear in the morning is getting slower and slower, therefore every day more dangerous.'

No relief whatever to the critical situation came on Monday, March 4, and there was in fact little left to hope for except a strong drying wind, which at that time of the year was not likely to come. At mid-day they were about 42 miles from the next depot and had a week's food; but in spite of the utmost economy their oil could only last three or four days, and to pull as they were doing and be short of food at the same time was an absolute impossibility. For the time being the temperature had risen to -20 deg., but Scott was sure that this small improvement was only temporary and feared that Oates, at any rate, was in no state to weather more severe cold than they were enduring. And hanging over all the other misfortunes was the constant fear that if they did get to the next depot they might find the same shortage of oil. 'I don't know what I should do if Wilson and Bowers weren't so determinedly cheerful over things.'

[Page 409] And it must in all truth have been as difficult as it was heroic to be cheerful, for weary and worn as they were their food needed such careful husbanding, that their supper on this night (March 4) consisted of nothing but a cup of cocoa and pemmican solid with the chill off. 'We pretend to prefer the pemmican this way,' Scott says, and if any proof was needed of their indomitable resolution it is contained in that short sentence. The result, however, was telling rapidly upon all of them, and more especially upon Oates, whose feet were in a terrible condition when they started to march on the morning of the 5th. Lunch-time saw them within 27 miles of their next supply of food and fuel, but by this time poor Oates was almost done.

'It is pathetic enough because we can do nothing for him; more hot food might do a little, but only a little, I fear. We none of us expected these terribly low temperatures, and of the rest of us Wilson is feeling them most; mainly, I fear, from his self-sacrificing devotion in doctoring Oates' feet. We cannot help each other, each has enough to do to take care of himself. We get cold on the march when the trudging is heavy, and the wind pierces our worn garments. The others, all of them, are unendingly cheerful when in the tent. We mean to see the game through with a proper spirit, but it's tough work to be pulling harder than we ever pulled in our lives for long hours, and to feel that the progress is so slow. One can only say "God help us!" and plod on our weary way, cold and [Page 410] very miserable, though outwardly cheerful. We talk of all sorts of subjects in the tent, not much of food now, since we decided to take the risk of running a full ration. We simply couldn't go hungry at this time.'

On the morning of the 6th Oates was no longer able to pull, and the miles gained, when they camped for lunch after desperate work, were only three and a half, and the total distance for the day was short of seven miles. For Oates, indeed, the crisis was near at hand. 'He makes no complaint, but his spirits only come up in spurts now, and he grows more silent in the tent.... If we were all fit I should have hopes of getting through, but the poor Soldier has become a terrible hindrance, though he does his utmost and suffers much I fear.' And at mid-day on the 7th, Scott added, 'A little worse I fear. One of Oates' feet very bad this morning; he is wonderfully brave. We still talk of what we will do together at home.'

At this time they were 16 miles from their depot, and if they found the looked-for amount of fuel and food there, and if the surface helped them, Scott hoped that they might get on to the Mt. Hooper Depot, 72 miles farther, but not to One Ton Camp. 'We hope against hope that the dogs have been to Mt. Hooper; then we might pull through.... We are only kept going by good food. No wind this morning till a chill northerly air came ahead. Sun bright and cairns showing up well. I should like to keep the track to the end.'

Another fearful struggle took them by lunch-time [Page 411] on the 8th to within 8-1/2 miles of their next goal, but the time spent over foot-gear in the mornings was getting longer and longer. 'Have to wait in night footgear for nearly an hour before I start changing, and then am generally first to be ready. Wilson's feet giving trouble now, but this mainly because he gives so much help to others.... The great question is, what shall we find at the depot? If the dogs have visited it we may get along a good distance, but if there is another short allowance of fuel, God help us indeed. We are in a very bad way, I fear, in any case.'

On the following day they managed to struggle on to Mount Hooper Depot. 'Cold comfort. Shortage on our allowance all round. I don't know that anyone is to blame. The dogs which would have been our salvation have evidently failed.'

[For the last six days Cherry-Garrard and Demetri had been waiting with the dogs at One Ton Camp. Scott had dated his probable return to Hut Point anywhere between mid-March and early April, and calculating from the speed of the other return parties Atkinson expected him to reach One Ton Camp between March 3 and 10. There Cherry-Garrard met four days of blizzard, with the result that when the weather cleared he had little more than enough dog food to take the teams home. Under these circumstances only two possible courses were open to him, either to push south for one more march and back with imminent risk of missing Scott on the way, or to stay two days at the Camp where Scott was bound to come, [Page 412] if he came at all. Wisely he took the latter course and stayed at One Ton Camp until the utmost limit of time.]

With the depot reached and no relief to the situation gained, Scott was forced to admit that things were going 'steadily downhill,' but for the time being Oates' condition was by far the most absorbing trouble. 'Oates' foot worse,' he wrote on the 10th. 'He has rare pluck and must know that he can never get through. He asked Wilson if he had a chance this morning, and of course Bill had to say he didn't know. In point of fact he has none. Apart from him, if he went under now, I doubt whether we could get through. With great care we might have a dog's chance, but no more.... Poor chap! it is too pathetic to watch him; one cannot but try to cheer him up.'

On this same day a blizzard met them after they had marched for half an hour, and Scott seeing that not one of them could face such weather, pitched camp and stayed there until the following morning. Then they struggled on again with the sky so overcast that they could see nothing and consequently lost the tracks. At the most they gained little more than six miles during the day, and this they knew was as much as they could hope to do if they got no help from wind or surfaces. 'We have 7 days' food and should be about 55 miles from One Ton Camp to-night, 6 X 7 = 42, leaving us 13 miles short of our distance, even if things get no worse.'

Oates too was, Scott felt, getting very near the end. 'What we or he will do, God only knows. We [Page 413] discussed the matter after breakfast; he is a brave fine fellow and understands the situation, but he practically asked for advice. Nothing could be said but to urge him to march as long as he could. One satisfactory result to the discussion: I practically ordered Wilson to hand over the means of ending our troubles to us, so that any of us may know how to do so. Wilson had no choice between doing so and our ransacking the medicine case.'

Thus Scott wrote on the 11th, and the next days brought more and more misfortunes with them. A strong northerly wind stopped them altogether on the 13th, and although on the following morning they started with a favorable breeze, it soon shifted and blew through their wind-clothes and their mitts. 'Poor Wilson horribly cold, could not get off ski for some time. Bowers and I practically made camp, and when we got into the tent at last we were all deadly cold.... We must go on, but now the making of every camp must be more difficult and dangerous. It must be near the end, but a pretty merciful end.... I shudder to think what it will be like to-morrow.'

Up to this time, incredible as it seems, Scott had only once spared himself the agony of writing in his journal, so nothing could be more pathetic and significant than the fact that at last he was unable any longer to keep a daily record of this magnificent journey.

'Friday, March 16 or Saturday 17. Lost track of dates, but think the last correct,' his next entry begins, but then under the most [Page 414] unendurable conditions he went on to pay a last and imperishable tribute to his dead companion.

'Tragedy all along the line. At lunch, the day before yesterday, poor Titus Oates said he couldn't go on; he proposed we should leave him in his sleeping-bag. That we could not do, and we induced him to come on, on the afternoon march. In spite of its awful nature for him he struggled on and we made a few miles. At night he was worse and we knew the end had come.

'Should this be found I want these facts recorded. Oates' last thoughts were of his Mother, but immediately before he took pride in thinking that his regiment would be pleased with the bold way in which he met his death. We can testify to his bravery. He has borne intense suffering for weeks without complaint, and to the very last was able and willing to discuss outside subjects. He did not—would not—give up hope till the very end. He was a brave soul. This was the end. He slept through the night before last, hoping not to wake; but he woke in the morning—yesterday. It was blowing a blizzard. He said, "I am just going outside and may be some time." He went out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since.

'I take this opportunity of saying that we have stuck to our sick companions to the last. In case of Edgar Evans, when absolutely out of food and he lay insensible, the safety of the remainder seemed to demand his abandonment, but Providence mercifully removed him at this critical moment. He died [Page 415] a natural death, and we did not leave him till two hours after his death.

'We knew that poor Oates was walking to his death, but though we tried to dissuade him, we knew it was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman. We all hope to meet the end with a similar spirit, and assuredly the end is not far.

'I can only write at lunch and then only occasionally. The cold is intense, -40 deg. at mid-day. My companions are unendingly cheerful, but we are all on the verge of serious frost-bites, and though we constantly talk of fetching through I don't think anyone of us believes it in his heart.

'We are cold on the march now, and at all times except meals. Yesterday we had to lay up for a blizzard and to-day we move dreadfully slowly. We are at No. 14 pony camp, only two pony marches from One Ton Depot. We leave here our theodolite, a camera, and Oates' sleeping-bags. Diaries, etc., and geological specimens carried at Wilson's special request, will be found with us or on our sledge.'

At mid-day on the next day, March 18, they had struggled to within 21 miles of One Ton Depot, but wind and drift came on and they had to stop their march. 'No human being could face it, and we are worn out nearly.

'My right foot has gone, nearly all the toes—two days ago I was the proud possessor of best feet. These are the steps of my downfall. Like an ass I mixed a spoonful of curry powder with my melted pemmican—it [Page 416] gave me violent indigestion. I lay awake and in pain all night; woke and felt done on the march; foot went and I didn't know it. A very small measure of neglect and have a foot which is not pleasant to contemplate.

'Bowers takes first place in condition, but there is not much to choose after all. The others are still confident of getting through—or pretend to be—I don't know! We have the last half fill of oil in our primus and a very small quantity of spirit—this alone between us and thirst.'

On that night camp was made with the greatest difficulty, but after a supper of cold pemmican and biscuit and half a pannikin of cocoa, they were, contrary to their expectations, warm enough to get some sleep.

Then came the closing stages of this glorious struggle against persistent misfortune.

'March 19.—Lunch. To-day we started in the usual dragging manner. Sledge dreadfully heavy. We are 15-1/2 miles from the depot and ought to get there in three days. What progress! We have two days' food but barely a day's fuel. All our feet are getting bad—Wilson's best, my right foot worst, left all right. There is no chance to nurse one's feet till we can get hot food into us. Amputation is the least I can hope for now, but will the trouble spread? That is the serious question. The weather doesn't give us a chance; the wind from N. to N. W. and -40 temp. to-day.

[Page 417] During the afternoon they drew 4-1/2 miles nearer to the One Ton Depot, and there they made their last camp. Throughout Tuesday a severe blizzard held them prisoners, and on the 21st Scott wrote: 'To-day forlorn hope, Wilson and Bowers going to depot for fuel.'

But the blizzard continued without intermission. '22 and 23. Blizzard bad as ever—Wilson and Bowers unable to start—to-morrow last chance—no fuel and only one or two of food left—must be near the end. Have decided it shall be natural—we shall march for the depot with or without our effects and die in our tracks.'

'March 29.—Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W. and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece, and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. 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 more.


'Last entry For God's sake look after our people.'

[Page 418] After Cherry-Garrard and Demetri had returned to Hut Point on March 16 without having seen any signs of the Polar party, Atkinson and Keohane made one more desperate effort to find them. When, however, this had been unsuccessful there was nothing more to be done until the winter was over.

During this long and anxious time the leadership of the party devolved upon Atkinson, who under the most trying circumstances showed qualities that are beyond all praise. At the earliest possible moment (October 30) a large party started south. 'On the night of the 11th and morning of the 12th,' Atkinson says, 'after we had marched 11 miles due south of One Ton, we found the tent. It was an object partially snowed up and looking like a cairn. Before it were the ski sticks and in front of them a bamboo which probably was the mast of the sledge...

'Inside the tent were the bodies of Captain Scott, Doctor Wilson, and Lieutenant Bowers. They had pitched their tent well, and it had withstood all the blizzards of an exceptionally hard winter.'

Wilson and Bowers were found in the attitude of sleep, their sleeping-bags closed over their heads as they would naturally close them.

Scott died later. He had thrown back the flaps of his sleeping-bag and opened his coat. The little wallet [Page 419] containing the three notebooks was under his shoulders and his arm flung across Wilson.

Among their belongings were the 35 lbs. of most important geological specimens which had been collected on the moraines of the Beardmore Glacier. At Wilson's request they had clung on to these to the very end, though disaster stared them in the face.

'When everything had been gathered up, we covered them with the outer tent and read the Burial Service. From this time until well into the next day we started to build a mighty cairn above them.'

Upon the cairn a rough cross, made from two skis, was placed, and on either side were up-ended two sledges, fixed firmly in the snow. Between the eastern sledge and the cairn a bamboo was placed, containing a metal cylinder, and in this the following record was left:

'November 12, 1912, Lat. 79 degrees, 50 mins. South. This cross and cairn are erected over the bodies of Captain Scott, C.V.O., R.N., Doctor E. A. Wilson, M.B. B.C., Cantab., and Lieutenant H. R. Bowers, Royal Indian Marine—a slight token to perpetuate their successful and gallant attempt to reach the Pole. This they did on January 17, 1912, after the Norwegian Expedition had already done so. Inclement weather with lack of fuel was the cause of their death. Also to commemorate their two gallant comrades, Captain L. E. G. Oates of the Inniskilling Dragoons, who walked to his death [Page 420] in a blizzard to save his comrades about eighteen miles south of this position; also of Seaman Edgar Evans, who died at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier.

'"The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord."'

[Page 421] With the diaries in the tent were found the following letters:—

To Mrs. E. A. Wilson


If this letter reaches you Bill and I will have gone out together. We are very near it now and I should like you to know how splendid he was at the end—everlastingly cheerful and ready to sacrifice himself for others, never a word of blame to me for leading him into this mess. He is not suffering, luckily, at least only minor discomforts.

His eyes have a comfortable blue look of hope and his mind is peaceful with the satisfaction of his faith in regarding himself as part of the great scheme of the Almighty. I can do no more to comfort you than to tell you that he died as he lived, a brave, true man—the best of comrades and staunchest of friends.

My whole heart goes out to you in pity.

Yours, R. SCOTT.

To Mrs. Bowers


I am afraid this will reach you after one of the heaviest blows of your life.

I write when we are very near the end of our journey, and I am finishing it in company with two gallant, noble gentlemen. One of these is your son. He [Page 422] had come be one of my closest and soundest friends, and I appreciate his wonderful upright nature, his ability and energy. As the troubles have thickened his dauntless spirit ever shone brighter and he has remained cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable to the end.

The ways of Providence are inscrutable, but there must be some reason why such a young, vigorous and promising life is taken.

My whole heart goes out in pity for you.

Yours, R. SCOTT.

To the end he has talked of you and his sisters. One sees what a happy home he must have had and perhaps it is well to look back on nothing but happiness.

He remains unselfish, self-reliant and splendidly hopeful to the end, believing in God's mercy to you.

To Sir J. M. Barrie


We are pegging out in a very comfortless spot. Hoping this letter may be found and sent to you, I write a word of farewell.... More practically I want you to help my widow and my boy—your godson. We are showing that Englishmen can still die with a bold spirit, fighting it out to the end. It will be known that we have accomplished our object in reaching the Pole, and that we have done everything [Page 423] possible, even to sacrificing ourselves in order to save sick companions. I think this makes an example for Englishmen of the future, and that the country ought to help those who are left behind to mourn us. I leave my poor girl and your godson, Wilson leaves a widow, and Edgar Evans also a widow in humble circumstances. Do what you can to get their claims recognized. Goodbye. I am not at all afraid of the end, but sad to miss many a humble pleasure which I had planned for the future on our long marches. I may not have proved a great explorer, but we have done the greatest march ever made and come very near to great success. Goodbye, my dear friend.

Yours ever, R. SCOTT.

We are in a desperate state, feet frozen, etc. No fuel and a long way from food, but it would do your heart good to be in our tent, to hear our songs and the cheery conversation as to what we will do when we get to Hut Point.

Later.—We are very near the end, but have not and will not lose our good cheer. We have four days of storm in our tent and no where's food or fuel. We did intend to finish ourselves when things proved like this, but we have decided to die naturally in the track.

As a dying man, my dear friend, be good to my wife and child. Give the boy a chance in life if the State won't do it. He ought to have good stuff in him.... I never met a man in my life whom I admired and [Page 424] loved more than you, but I never could show you how much your friendship meant to me, for you had much to give and I nothing.

To the Right Hon. Sir Edgar Speyer, Bart.

Dated March 16, 1912. Lat. 79.5 deg..


I hope this may reach you. I fear we must go and that it leaves the Expedition in a bad muddle. But we have been to the Pole and we shall die like gentlemen. I regret only for the women we leave behind.

I thank you a thousand times for your help and support and your generous kindness. If this diary is found it will show how we stuck by dying companions and fought the thing out well to the end. I think this will show that the spirit of pluck and the power to endure has not passed out of our race....

Wilson, the best fellow that ever stepped, has sacrificed himself again and again to the sick men of the party....

I write to many friends hoping the letters will reach them some time after we are found next year.

We very nearly came through, and it's a pity to have missed it, but lately I have felt that we have overshot our mark. No one is to blame and I hope no attempt will be made to suggest that we have lacked support.

Goodbye to you and your dear kind wife.

Yours ever sincerely, R. SCOTT.

[Page 425] To Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Charles Bridgeman, K.C.V.O., K.C.B.


I fear we have slipped up; a close shave; I am writing a few letters which I hope will be delivered some day. I want to thank you for the friendship you gave me of late years, and to tell you how extraordinarily pleasant I found it to serve under you. I want to tell you that I was not too old for this job. It was the younger men that went under first.... After all we are setting a good example to our countrymen, if not by getting into a tight place, by facing it like men when we were there. We could have come through had we neglected the sick.

Good-bye, and good-bye to dear Lady Bridgeman.

Yours ever, R. SCOTT.

Excuse writing—it is -40 deg.; and has been for nigh a month.

To Vice-Admiral Sir George le Clerc Egerton, K.C.B.


I fear we have shot our bolt—but we have been to Pole and done the longest journey on record.

I hope these letters may find their destination some day.

Subsidiary reasons for our failure to return are due to the sickness of different members of the party, but [Page 426] the real thing that has stopped us is the awful weather and unexpected cold towards the end of the journey.

This traverse of the Barrier has been quite three times as severe as any experience we had on the summit.

There is no accounting for it, but the result has thrown out my calculations, and here we are little more than 100 miles from the base and petering out.

Good-bye. Please see my widow is looked after as far as Admiralty is concerned.


My kindest regards to Lady Egerton. I can never forget all your kindness.

To Mr. J. J. Kinsey-Christchurch.

March 24th, 1912.


I'm afraid we are pretty well done—four days of blizzard just as we were getting to the last dopot. My thoughts have been with you often. You have been a brick. You will pull the Expedition through, I'm sure.

My thoughts are for my wife and boy. Will you do what you can for them if the country won't.

I want the boy to have a good chance in the world, but you know the circumstances well enough.

If I knew the wife and boy were in safe keeping I should have little to regret in leaving the world, for I feel that the country need not be ashamed of us—our [Page 427] journey has been the biggest on record, and nothing but the most exceptional hard luck at the end would have caused us to fail to return. We have been to the S. pole as we set out. God bless you and dear Mrs. Kinsey. It is good to remember you and your kindness.

Your friend, R. SCOTT.

Letters to his Mother, his Wife, his Brother-in-law (Sir William Ellison Macartney), Admiral Sir Lewis Beaumont, and Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Smith were also found, from which come the following extracts:

The Great God has called me and I feel it will add a fearful blow to the heavy ones that have fallen on you in life. But take comfort in that I die at peace with the world and myself—not afraid.

Indeed it has been most singularly unfortunate, for the risks I have taken never seemed excessive.

...I want to tell you that we have missed getting through by a narrow margin which was justifiably within the risk of such a journey.... After all, we have given our lives for our country—we have actually made the longest journey on record, and we have been the first Englishmen at the South Pole.

You must understand that it is too cold to write much.

...It's a pity the luck doesn't come our way, because every detail of equipment is right.

[Page 428] I shall not have suffered any pain, but leave the world fresh from harness and full of good health and vigour. This is decided already—when provisions come to an end we simply stop unless we are within easy distance of another depot. Therefore you must not imagine a great tragedy. We are very anxious of course, and have been for weeks, but our splendid physical condition and our appetites compensate for all discomfort.

Since writing the above we got to within 11 miles of our depot, with one hot meal and two days' cold food. We should have got through but have been held for four days by a frightful storm. I think the best chance has gone. We have decided not to kill ourselves, but to fight to the last for that depot, but in the fighting there is a painless end. So don't worry. The inevitable must be faced. You urged me to be leader of this party, and I know you felt it would be dangerous.

Make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games; they encourage it at some schools. I know you will keep him in the open air.

Above all, he must guard and you must guard him against indolence. Make him a strenuous man. I had to force myself into being strenuous as you know—had always an inclination to be idle.

There is a piece of the Union Jack I put up at the South Pole in my private kit bag, together with Amundsen's black flag and other trifles. Send a small [Page 429] piece of the Union Jack to the King and a small piece to Queen Alexandra.

What lots and lots I could tell you of this journey. How much better has it been than lounging in too great comfort at home. What tales you would have for the boy. But what a price to pay.

Tell Sir Clements I thought much of him and never regretted his putting me in command of the Discovery.


The causes of the disaster are not due to faulty organization, but to misfortune in all risks which had to be undertaken.

1. The loss of pony transport in March 1911 obliged me to start later than I had intended, and obliged the limits of stuff transported to be narrowed.

2. The weather throughout the outward journey, and especially the long gale in 83 deg. S., stopped us.

3. The soft snow in lower reaches of glacier again reduced pace.

We fought these untoward events with a will and conquered, but it cut into our provision reserve.

Every detail of our food supplies, clothing and depots made on the interior ice-sheet and over that long stretch of 700 miles to the Pole and back, worked out to perfection. The advance party would have returned to the glacier in fine form and with surplus of food, but for the astonishing failure of the man whom we had least expected to fail. Edgar Evans was thought the strongest man of the party.

The Beardmore Glacier is not difficult in fine weather, but on our return we did not get a single completely fine day; this with a sick companion enormously increased our anxieties.

As I have said elsewhere we got into frightfully rough ice and Edgar Evans received a concussion of [Page 431] the brain—he died a natural death, but left us a shaken party with the season unduly advanced.

But all the facts above enumerated were as nothing to the surprise which awaited us on the Barrier. I maintain that our arrangements for returning were quite adequate, and that no one in the world would have expected the temperatures and surfaces which we encountered at this time of the year. On the summit in lat. 85 deg., 86 deg. we had -20 deg., -30 deg.. On the Barrier in lat. 82 deg., 10,000 feet lower, we had -30 deg. in the day, -47 deg. at night pretty regularly, with continuous head wind during our day marches. It is clear that these circumstances come on very suddenly, and our wreck is certainly due to this sudden advent of severe weather, which does not seem to have any satisfactory cause. I do not think human beings ever came through such a month as we have come through, and we should have got through in spite of the weather but for the sickening of a second companion, Captain Oates, and a shortage of fuel in our depots for which I cannot account, and finally, but for the storm which has fallen on us within 11 miles of the depot at which we hoped to secure our final supplies. Surely misfortune could scarcely have exceeded this last blow. We arrived within 11 miles of our old One Ton Camp with fuel for one last meal and food for two days. For four days we have been unable to leave the tent—the gale howling about us. We are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake I do not regret this [Page 432] journey, which has shewn that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another, and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past. We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last. But if we have been willing to give our lives to this enterprise, which is for the honour of our country, I appeal to our countrymen to see that those who depend on us are properly cared for.

Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale, but surely, surely, a great rich country like ours will see that those who are dependent on us are properly provided for.



Abbott, George P., P.O. 209, 242, 260 Adelie Land 35 Admiralty, the, 8, 18, 182-3, 200, 206 Alaska 11 Albemarle, H.M.S., 206 Albert Medal, the, 372 Alexandra, Queen, 31, 429 Alpine Rope, 256-7, 266, 274, 367 Amphion, H.M.S., 11 Amundsen, Roald, 259-60, 301, 324, 346, 383, 428 Anton, Groom, 209, 276, 278, 280, 285, 289, 299 Archer, W. W., chief steward, 209 Armitage, Lieut. A. B., 25, 32, 43, 57, 63, 89, 97, 103, 105, 138, 153-4, 176, 178 Arnold, M., quoted, 151, 178 Arrival Bay, 60 Heights, 60, 234 Athletic sports, 137-8 Atkinson, Edward L., surgeon, R.N., parasitologist, 208, 213, 224, 236, 243, 259, 261, 267, 270, 273, 279-80, 284, 285-6, 295 seq., 308, 319, 320-1, 327, 329, 330, 336, 340, 344, 354-5, 362-3, 372, 411, 418-19 Auckland Islands, 195 Australia, Government of, 207

Balaclave helmets, 251 Balfour, Rt. Ron. A. J., 16 Balleny, Capt. John, 197 Islands, 196-7 Balloons, ascents of, 57, 281 Barne, Lieut. Michael, 26, 32, 43, 53, 61, seq., 80, 87, 98-9, 100, 104, 106, 108, 131-2, 147, 149, 152, 155, 176 Glacier, 275 Barrie, Sir J. M., letter to, 422-4 Barrier, Great Ice, 53, seq., 90, 176, 203, 222, 224-5, 241, 243, 246, 260 seq., 294, 304, 305, 321, 377 Bay of Whales, 259-60 Beaumont, Admiral Sir Lewis, 427 Beppo, pony, 7 Berlin, 17, 20 Bernacchi, Louis C., physicist, 27, 43, 53, 75, 85-6, 135, 147, 152, 176 Birdie, dog, 108-9, 126 Birthday, celebrations of, 286-7 Biscay, Bay of, 32 Bismarck, dog, 108 Bjaaland, Olav Olavson, 383 Blanco, dog, 108 Blissett, A. H., 132 Blizzard, The, 80 Blossom, pony, 250 Blucher, pony, 248, 250, 258 Bluff, The, 130 Camp, 250, 336 Boats, mishap to, 84, 85, 139, 140 Bones, pony, 299, 308 Bonner, Charles, 38-9 Borchgrevink, 43 Boss, dog, 108 Bowers, Lieut. H. R., 28, 208, 216, 224, 230-1, 234-236, 243, 247, 249, 250-4, 261-7, 270, 273, 275, 278-81, 283-4, 286, 289, 293-5, 299, 300-8, 311-14, 317, 319, 320, 322, 324-5, 334, 343-5, 352, 354, 357-8, 359, 364, 368, 371, 373 seq. Bowers, Mrs., letter to, 421-2 Bridgeman, Admiral, Sir F. C., letter to, 425 Britannia, The, 6 British Museum, the, 19 Brownie, dog, 100, 108-9 Browning, E. B., quoted, 328 Browning, Frank V., P.O., 209, 242 Bruce, Canon Lloyd, 207 Bruce, Kathleen, 207 Bruce, Lieut. Wilfred M., 209, 224 Buckingham Palace Road, 15 Bulwark, H.M.S., 206 Burlington House, 19 Butter Point, 157, 260, 314

Campbell, Lieut. Victor L. A., 208, 216, 224, 226, 229, 232, 233, 238, 240-1, 242, 259-60, 292, 315 Cape Adare, 42, 43, 45, 141 Armitage, 59, 225, 259, 263 Bernacchi, 315 Bird, 225 Crozier, 52, 61, 64, 69, 70, 105, 137, 141-2, 155-6, 176, 222-3, 281 Crozier Party, 294, 300-7, 317 Evans, 225, 234-5, 239, 246, 260, 268, 271-3, 280, 300, 316-17, 321, 328, 365 Jones, 48 Mackay, 301 North, 146, 189, 196, 198, 260 of Good Hope, 32-3 Royds, 180, 185, 286 Sibbald, 49 Wadworth, 47 Washington, 49, 52 Cardiff, 207, 211 Castle Rock, 60, 62, 64, 65, 262, 273 Cheetham, Alfred B., boatswain, 209 Cherry-Garrard, Apsley, assistant zoologist, 224, 236, 243, 251-2, 254-6, 257-8, 261-6, 270-1, 273, 279-81, 284, 288, 294, 300-7, 308, 318, 323, 329, 334, 340, 342, 344, 347, 352, 354, 362, 364, 411-12, 418 Chinaman, pony, 308, 318, 329-30, 332-3, 336, 338-9, 340-41 Christiania, 89 Christopher, pony, 308-9, 318-19, 320, 329, 333, 336, 342 Clarke, Charles, ship's cook, 179 Clissold, Thomas, cook, 209, 276, 278, 280, 286, 289, 296, 319, 329 Coal, 46, 189, 194, 216, 218-19, 220 Colbeck, Captain William, 141-2, 143, 147, 182-3, 185, 194, 198 Coleridge, quoted, 211 Colville, Rear-Admiral, 206 Commonwealth Range, 357 Cook, Capt. James, 31 Corner Camp, 247, 261, 263, 270, 312, 314, 317, 372 Coulman Islands, 46, 47, 141 Crater Heights, 60, 234 Hill, 60, 69, 88 Crean, Thomas, P.O., 209, 237, 243, 259, 261, 262-5, 270, 273, 278-80, 285, 296, 299, 308, 318, 321, 323, 344, 354, 364, 370-2 Cross, Jacob, P.O., 48, 103, 155-6 'Cruise of the Beagle,' 162 Cuts, pony, 262, 264

Dailey, F. E., carpenter, 59, 153, 157 Darwin, Charles, 162 Day, Bernard C., motor engineer, 208, 227, 236, 276-7, 279, 290-1, 299, 318, 321, 323, 329, 330-1, 339, 340 Debenham, Frank, geologist, 208, 236, 242, 270, 273, 281-2, 283, 296, 325-6, 327 Dellbridge, James H., 2nd engineer, 138 Islets, 178 Demetri, dog driver, 209, 276, 278-9, 289, 311, 329, 333, 354, 356, 372, 411, 418 Dennistoun, James R., 209 Depot Nunatak, 171 Desolation Camp, Discovery Expedition, 163, 172 Last Expedition, 402 Dickason, Harry, A.B., 209, 242 Discovery, the fifth, 21 Dog food, 109 Dogs, 59, 71-2, 95-7, 107 seq., 212-13, 218, 226, 228, 239, 241, 243 seq., 270, 278, 285-6, 311, 329, 333 seq., 411 Douglas, Sir Archibald, 18 Drake, Francis R. H., assistant paymaster, 209, 224 Dundee, 19, 20, 23 Shipbuilding Company, 17

East India Docks, 20 Edward VII, King, 31 Egerton, Admiral Sir George, K.C.B., 15, 81, 206, 425-6 (letter to) Enderby Quadrant, 29 Entertainments, 85, 86, 87 Erebus Tongue, 315 Esquimault. B.C., 11 Esquimaux, 301, 307 Evans, Lieut. E. R. G. R., 208, 215, 223-5, 232, 236, 242-3, 250, 258, 262, 311, 314, 317, 330-1, 337-40, 344, 354-5, 357-9, 361, 363, 364, 368, 370-2 Evans, P.O., 63, 65, 67-8, 97, 105, 153, 157, 164, 165 seq., 178-9, 209, 237, 242, 270, 273, 280, 285-6, 296, 308, 311-12, 317, 323-4, 326-7, 329, 337, 344, 352, 354-5, 364, 369

Falkland Islands, 199 Feather, Thomas A., boatswain, 100-1, 157, 161, 162, 164-5 Fefer, 229 Ferrar, Hartley T., 27, 48, 67, 97, 103, 138, 157, 159, 163, 176 Glacier, 152-3, 154, 158-9, 314 Finance Committee, 17-18 Fire, alarm of, 32 Fisher, Admiral Sir John, 10 Fitzclarence, dog, 108 Football, 286, 325 Forde, Robert, P.O., 209, 243, 248, 250, 258, 261, 270, 273, 279, 312, 314, 317, 326-7 Fram, the, 20, 21 Franklin Island, 141 Franz-Josef Land, 25

Gap, the, 60, 234 Gateway, the, 352 Geological specimens, 393-4, 398, 419 Gerof, Demetri. See Demetri Glacier, the Beardmore, 312, 338-9, 341, 345, 346, 349, 352, 354 seq., 392, 394, 419-20 Glacier Depot, 349, 352 Tongue, 225, 237, 239-41, 260, 274, 315-16, 324, 344 Gran Tryggve, ski expert, 208, 218, 236, 243, 251, 254, 261-2, 263, 265, 267, 273, 295-6, 312, 314, 317, 327 Granite Harbor, 50, 51 Grannie, dog, 108 Gus, dog, 108, 125

Haakon, King, 383 Hackenschmidt, pony, 276 Half-Degree Depot, 387 Hamilton, B. T., 229 Hampton Court Palace, 207 Handsley. Jesse, A.B., 153, 157, 164-5, 175, 178-9 Hanson, 43 Hanssen, Hilmer, 383 Hare, 63, 65, 68-9 Hassel, Sverre H., 383 Heald, William L., A.B., 62, 103, 176, 210 Henley, W. E., quoted, 385 'Hints to Travelers', 159-60 Hobart Town, 182 Hockey, 149 Hodgson, Thomas V., 25, 27, 147, 149, 154 Hooper, F. J., steward, 209, 276, 279, 280, 289, 339-40 Hoskins, Sir Anthony, 18 Hut, the Discovery, 59, 85-86, 87, 233, 239, 269 seq., 372 at Cape Evans, 227, 231, 234 seq., 275 seq. Point, 60, 88, 186, 190-1, 233, 240, 242-3, 258, 260-3, 265, 267, 271, 279, 285, 311, 318, 324, 327-9, 372, 411, 418 Hutton Rocks, 273 Huxley, quoted, 311

Icebergs, 44 Inaccessible Island, 297, 316

Jackson-Harmsworth Expedition, 25 Jehu, pony, 308, 318, 328-9, 330, 332-6, 338-9, 340 Jim, dog, 108-9, 125-6, 129 Joe, dog, 108

Kennar, Thomas, P.O., 157, 159 Keohane, Patrick, P.O., 209, 243, 250, 258, 261, 273, 279, 296, 308, 320, 327, 329, 340, 344, 348, 354, 357, 362, 418 Kid, dog, 108-9, 125 King Edward's Island, 56, 203, 233, 242 Kinsey, J. J., letter to, 426-7 Kipling, Rudyard, quoted, 401 Koettlitz, Reginald, surgeon and botanist, 25, 27, 61, seq., 78, 97, 138, 175

Lantaret, 229 Lashly, William, leading stoker, 97, 105, 153, 157, 162, 164, 165 seq., 178, 179, 209, 214, 276, 278-9, 299, 323, 331, 340, 344, 354-5, 364, 366-7, 369, 371-2 Lectures, 282, 287, 290, 307-8 Levick, G. Murray, surgeon, R.N., 208, 242 Lewis, dog, 108-9, 126 Lillehammer, 229 Lillie, Denis G., biologist, 209, 240 London Docks, 31, 141 Lower Glacier Depot, 356, 398, 404 Lyttelton, 37-8, 211-12 Heads, 37, 199

Macartney, Sir William Ellison, 427 Mackay, Captain Harry, 182, 190 Macquarie Island, 36, 37, 185 Magnetic huts, 75 Observatory, 23 Magnetism, 75 Majestic, H.M.S., 15, 18, 26, 27 Markham, Sir Clements, 15, 16, 29, 30, 141, 203 seq. (preface), 429 Markham, Lady, 20 McMurdo Sound, 51, 58, 138, 142, 194, 230, 237, 260 Meares, Cecil H., in charge of dogs, 208, 218, 226, 232-4, 236, 239, 240, 242-4, 246-8, 251-2, 254-8, 261, 263, 265, 267, 273, 279, 285, 299, 311-12, 318-19, 327, 329, 333, 337, 354, 356 Merchant Shipping Act, 28 Meridians, 217 Message to the public, 430-2 Meteorological observations, 74, 75, 83, 84 screens, 71, 74 Michael, pony, 308, 347 Middle Barrier Depot, 340, 405, 407 Midwinter celebrations, 290-3 Milton, quoted, 254 Monument Rock, 400 Morning, the, 43, 53, 135, 141-6, 181 seq., 194, 198 Motor sledges, 212, 226-30, 290, 312-13, 318, 321, 326-7, 329-30, 332 Mount Buckley, 393-4 Cloudmaker, 357-98 Darwin, 364, 390, 391, 393 Discovery, 225 Erebus, 131, 235, 274, 316 Hooper Depot, 410, 411 Hope, 346 Longstaff, 122 Markham, 124 Melbourne, 49 Monteagle, 49 Murchison, 49 Sabine, 222 Terror, 302 Whewell, 222 Mulock, Lieut. George F. A., 27, 145, 149, 152, 176, 193, 195, 197

Nansen, Dr., 17, 19, 20, 89 Naval Discipline Act, 28 Nell, dog, 101, 108-9, 125-6, 129 Nelson, Edward W., biologist, 208, 224, 227, 236, 276-7, 279, 287, 319-20 Newbolt, Henry, quoted, 31 New Harbor, 153, 157, 315 Newnes, Sir George, 43 New Zealand, 23, 37, 38, 199, 211 New Zealand, Government of, 207 Nigger, dog, 101, 108-9, 125-6, 129 Nobby, pony, 262, 268, 308, 325, 342-3, 351, 353 Northern Party, 233, 242-3 Norway, 17, 89 Norwegians, the, 384-5

Oates, Capt. Lawrence, E.G., 208, 213, 220, 226, 236, 239-40, 241, 243, 248-9, 252, 254, 261-2, 263, 265, 267, 270, 273, 279-80, 284-5, 299, 308, 318-20, 321, 333, 336-7, 343-4, 351, 354-5, 364, 373 seq. Outlands, 2, 5 Observatory Hill, 60, 134, 234 Oil, shortage of, 404-5, 408, 411, 416 'Old Mooney,' 6, 8, 9 Omelchenko, Anton. See Anton One Ton Camp, 253, 317, 326-7, 371, 410-11, 412, 415, 417 Osman, dog, 255-6

P. and O. Company, 25 Pack-ice, 35 seq., 44, 49, 51, 196, 216-17, 218 Parry Mountains, 54 Peary, Lieutenant, 28 Penguins, 36, 40, 148, 180, 226 Emperor, 106, 137, 153, 155, 223, 294, 302, 305 King, 36 Pennell, Lieut. H. L. L., 209, 224, 230, 238 Petrels, 35 Antarctic, 40 Giant, 40 Southern Fulmar, 40 White Snow, 40 Wilson stormy, 35 Pigg, James, pony, 250, 258, 261, 263, 268, 308, 318, 329, 340, 342 Plumley, Frank, stoker, 62, 157 Pole, the South, 382 seq. Camp, 384 Ponies, the, 212-15, 220, 226, 239, 241, 243 seq., 263-7, 285-6, 312, 318, 332 seq. Ponting, Herbert G., camera artist, 208, 219, 227-8, 236, 276-7, 282, 284, 292, 314, 319, 327, 329 Port Chalmers, 38, 39, 76, 212 Ross, 195 Stanley, 199 Possession Islands, 141 Pram Point, 263, 269 Bay, 269 Ridges, 267 President, H.M.S., 206 Pressure Ridges, 319 Priestley, Raymond E., geologist, 208, 223, 242, 260 Proverbs, quoted, 137 Punch, pony, 262, 266

Quartley, Arthur L., leading stoker, 63, 65, 67-8, 105, 175

Razor Back Islands, 240, 274 Rennick, Lieut. Henry E. de P., 209, 224 Roberston Bay, 42, 195 Rodd, Sir Rennell, quoted, 231 Ross, Sir James, 31, 40, 46, 54-5, 196-7 Ross Harbor, 198 Island, 176, 203, 239 Quadrant, 29 Sea, 216 Rover, H.M.S., 10 Royal Geographical Society, 17 Royal Society, 17 Royds, Lieut. Charles W. R., 18, 26, 53, 61 seq., 74-5, 78, 85-7, 97, 105, 132, 137, 139, 147, 149, 155, 176 Russell Islands, 197

Safety Camp, 243-4, 245-6, 254, 258-9, 261-2, 263, 265, 329-30 San Francisco, 11 Sawing-camp, 175, 178-9 Saxon, S.S., 207 Scamp, dog, 37 Scott, John Edward, 1 Scott, Lady, extracts from letters to, 427, 428, 429, et passim Scott, Mrs., extract from letter to, 427 Scott of Brownhead, 1 Scott, Peter Markham, 207 Scurvy, 103-4, 117, 129, 134, 144, 148, 371 Sea leopard, 41 elephant, 185 Seals, 41, 48, 269, 279 crab-eater, 41 Ross, 41 Shackleton, Sir Ernest H., 27, 79, 98, 107 seq., 143, 145, 233, 344, 352, 357, 370, 372, 375 Shackleton's hut, 286 Shakespeare, quoted, 95, 120, 294, 354 Shambles Camp, 353, 401 Shelley, quoted, 74, 167 Ship Committee, 17, 20, 23 Simon's Bay, 32, 33 Simpson. George C., Meteorologist, 208, 231, 236, 277, 281-2, 283, 312, 316 Skelton, Lieut. Reginald W., 18, 27, 60 seq., 85-6, 105, 135, 138, 147-8, 153, 162, 164-5, 176, 191-3, 229 Ski, 19, 60, 61, 130, 173, 246, 340, 354-5, 358, 360, 370, 375, 386, 388, 390 Ski-shoes, 361 Skua gulls, 40, 148, 180 Skuary, the, 225 Sledge equipment, 89, 151, 312 Sledges, 91, 92, 279, 280, 370 Sleeping-bags, 304, 306, 307, 388 Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Reginald, 427 Smith's Inlet, 260 Snatcher, dog, 108, 115 pony, 308, 325, 329, 352 Snippets, pony, 308-9, 328, 332, 341, 343 Snow-shoes, for ponies, 245, 247, 308, 352 South Africa, Government of, 207 Southern Barrier Depot, 342 Road, the, 239-40 South Polar Times, Discovery Expedition, 79-80 Last Expedition, 281, 290-1, 373 Spenser, quoted, 52 Speyer, Sir Edgar, letter to, 424 Spud, dog, 108-9, 115 Stareek, dog, 244-5 Stoke Damerel, 5 Stripes, dog, 108 Stubbington House, Fareham, 5 Sturge Island, 197 Sun, eclipse of, 156 Sverdrup's 'New Land', 295

Taylor, T. Griffith, geologist, 208, 223, 236, 242, 270, 273-4, 281-2, 283, 287, 291, 327 Telephone, the, 318-19 Tent, double, 295 Tent, Island, 297, 325 Islet, 184 Terra Nova, Discovery Expedition, 182-3, 187 seq., 194, 198 Last Expedition, 207, 211, 220, 237, 292, 324, 372 Thermometer, minimum, 253, 337 Thomson, Sir Courtauld, 11 Three Degree Depot, 370, 385-6, 387, 389, 404 Transport, 312, 345 Turtle Back Island, 271

Uncle Bill, pony, 262-3 Uniform overcoat, 309 Union Jack, the, 235, 291, 384, 428-9 Upper Glacier Depot, 390, 392, 404

Vic, dog, 108 Victor, pony, 308-9, 325, 334, 343 Victoria, B.C., 11 Land, 42, 76, 138, 167, 176, 196, 203, 233, 260 Quadrant, 29 Victorious, H.M.S., 206 Vince, A. B., 63, 66-9, 190, 234

Weary Willy, pony, 245, 251, 261-3 Weddell Quadrant, 29 Weller, William J., A.B., 48, 62, 157 Western Geological Party (1), 242, 260, 270 (2) 317, 325, 327 Western Mountains, 312, 325 Whales, killer, 227-8 White Island, 134, 261, 264 Wild, Frank, 62-3, 66, 67, 97, 105, 344 Wilkes, Commodore, 197 Wilkes Land, 198 Williams, William, engineer, 209, 214 Williamson, Thomas S., P.O., 157, 209, 229 Wilson, Dr. E. A., chief, the scientific staff (Last Expedition), zoologist, 5, 26-8, 35-6, 48-9, 53, 75-6, 80, 103, 107 seq., 143-4, 147, 153, 155-6, 176, 180-1, 185, 195, 208, 219-20, 223, 225, 231, 236, 240, 242-4, 246-8, 254-6, 258, 261, 263, 265, 267, 269-70, 272-3, 279-80, 286, 289, 294, 300-7, 308, 318-19, 320-2, 324-5, 329, 335, 344, 351, 353-5, 361, 364, 372 seq. Wilson, Mrs., letter to, 421 Winter Quarter Bay, 60 Wisting, Oscar, 383 Wolf, dog, 108-9 Wolseley Motor Company, 229 Wood Bay, 49, 50, 141 Wright, Charles S., physicist, 208, 224, 231, 236, 242, 270, 280, 283, 308, 314, 321, 329, 335, 340, 344, 354-5, 362


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