Tag Archive for Captain Scott

100 Year Anniversary of Captain Scott’s last diary entry

“Last entry. For God’s sake look after our people” –

100 years ago today Captain Robert Falcon Scott, with frost bitten fingers, wrote these final words as he, Edward Wilson and Henry Bowers were stranded in an Antarctic blizzard, just 11 miles away from One Ton Depot, which contained supplies that would have seen the whole team home safely.

Despite the fact that Scott’s ‘Terra Nova’ Expedition to the geographic south pole didn’t get there first  – to his dismay, Norwegian Roald Amundsen had already staked his nation’s flag there a couple of weeks earlier, Scott’s anguish is indicated in his diary: “The worst has happened”; “All the day dreams must go”; “Great God! This is an awful place” – The story of Captain Scott and his ill-fated journey home captured the world’s imagination and inspired generations of explorers and pioneers.

The infamous homeward journey began when, disappointed and dejected, Scott and his remaining companions turned away from the South Pole on January 19th 1912.  Trouble began almost immediately as Edgar Evans, one member of the 5 man final team, began to suffer severely as a result of a fall. He boldly struggled on for several more weeks, but on February 17th he fell once again, this time he did not get up. A month later, in one of the most self-less and noble acts recorded in history, Captain Lawrence Oates, spoke the now immortal line “I am just going outside and may be some time”, stepped out into the cold and was never seen again.

Despite Oate’s sacrifice, supplies were dwindling at a horrifying rate and on March 20th, Scott and his two remaining companions, Edward Wilson and Henry Bowers were caught up in a polar blizzard, leaving them stranded. The storm proved one obstacle too many, and the men were forced to come to terms with the fact that they were never going to make it home.

During these last few days, Scott recorded a series of notes for the people back home, among the most famous include his “Message To The Public”, where Scott made it clear that he did not regret the mission that he and his team chose to undertake;

“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 … 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.”

Scott is presumed to have died on 29 March 1912, on this very day 100 years ago. The positions of the bodies in the tent when it was discovered eight months later suggested that Scott was the last of the three to die.

His ambition and adventurous spirit, as well as the bravery in the face of crisis that Scott displayed in penning what he must have known to be the last thing he’ll ever write, has inspired generations of explorers, and cemented his place as a hero and inspirational spirit in popular culture!

Our Polar guide, Alan Chambers MBE heads off today to the top of the World as he leads a Charity Challenge group to the North Pole. Later this year, he will be retracing the journey that Captain Scott took just over 100 years ago making the first ever attempt to retrace and complete The Terra Nova route. Antarctica remains the same perilous wilderness that it was in Scott’s days. But thankfully the innovation and durability of equipment, storage facilities and protective clothing has improved sevenfold! So we can ensure that the ordeal and tragedy that met with the Terra Nova team will never again be repeated!

If you’d like to learn more about our South Pole Expedition, please click here. You can also click here to watch a short video of Alan Chambers and our expedition Medic Ed Coats talking about their upcoming challenge and the legacy of Captain Scott.

100 years on from Captain Scott!

Here at Charity Challenge we thought we had a lot to pack ahead of the forthcoming expeditions to the North Pole later this month. Our team have been busy making up dozens of crates and hundreds of kilos of chocolate and freeze dried meals and soups, and packing up group equipment, including sledges, tents, clothing, ropes and skis. But this is the Twenty First Century and thanks to the advances of modern aviation and cutting edge polar technology, the preparations should run relatively smoothly.

And if we weren’t already aware of that, a recent trip to the Natural History Museum proved to us at Charity Challenge that we have nothing to complain about. Scott’s Last Expedition offers a fascinating insight into the explorer’s doomed journey to become the first man to reach the South Pole 100 years ago. They had to pack literally tonnes of equipment, horses, dogs, scientific equipment, and so on for a three year expedition, including even the building materials for their “hut” on the ice for the duration of the expedition.

The exhibition, which runs until September, promises to go beyond the familiar tales of Scott’s three-year journey to the South Pole (1910-1913) and it doesn’t disappoint. The focus is on the everyday stories and activities of the people who took part, their scientific work and unforgettable human endurance.

Visitors can easily spend a couple of hours in the exhibition, reading about everything from the mammoth task of planning the trip to the heart wrenching words of Scott’s final diary entries.

In planning the Terra Nova expedition, Scott had to approach dozens of sponsors who he hoped would help fund the trip. Some lent financial support, while others provided some of the many tonnes of provisions that were loaded on board for the epic trip.

The exhibition then moves into a reconstruction of the hut where Scott and his men lived for much of their time in this inhospitable part of the world. Once inside, you get to see exactly where the men slept, ate and passed the many days that they spent there.

In most people’s minds, Scott is known as being the ultimate explorer, but perhaps what is less well known is just how much scientific research was done while the men were away. The ambitious programme covered a broad range of specialisms including meteorology, zoology and geography. The exhibition features a lot of this work and emphasizes the significance of the discoveries made, even to this day.

Had Scott lived to tell his tale, his experience would have still been overshadowed by the success of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who beat the British team to the Pole by a month. Curators have compared the two missions, highlighting what might have made the Norwegian efforts more successful.

This extremely moving exhibition, which marks the centenary of Scott reaching the pole and his tragic death, features over 200 rare specimens and original artefacts. Many items, such as clothing, skis, food, tools and diaries are being shown together for the first time.

Simon Albert, director of Charity Challenge, said: “I had the pleasure of visiting the Natural History Museum exhibition last week about Captain Scott and his final Antarctic expedition that took place 100 years ago. It was absolutely fascinating and has totally hooked me in. I can’t stop reading about it now and I just wanted to strongly recommend it to anyone interested in adventure and exploration.”

To find out more or to book a ticket, visit www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/scott-last-expedition/index.html

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