With Scott to the Pole
Ninety-eight years ago, three men lay dying inside a lonely tent battered by howling winds on the frozen wastes of Antarctica.
Robert Falcon Scott, "Birdie" Bowers and Dr Edward Wilson were the last remaining members of the five-man party that lost the race to the South Pole. They arrived five weeks after their rivals, led by Roald Amundsen had planted the Norwegian flag there.
Two other Britons - Lawrence "Titus" Oates and Edgar Evans, had already died on Scott's return journey and hunger, exhaustion and frostbite would eventually claim the lives of Scott and his two remaining companions.
Edward Wilson hailed from Cheltenham and his statue stands proudly on The Promenade in the town. A sledge and snowsuit used by Wilson on a previous expedition are already on display at the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum and later today the Wilson collection will receive another boost with a donation from his great-nephew David Wilson.
After putting together a consortium of family members and Antarctic historians, he was able to buy new documents and memorabilia from Bonham's the auctioneers. It cost them around £18,000.
The documents include the only known copy of Wilson's penultimate letter to his wife Oriana written in the tent as Scott lay next to him with a frozen foot.
There are also two scrapbooks kept by his sister Ida, including press cuttings from the time.
comments powered by Disqus
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- How Does It Feel To Have One’s Work as a Historian Cited by the Supreme Court? Cool. Very Cool. Thank You Very Much.
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- David Hackett Fischer wins $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military writing