With Scott to the Pole





New documents detailing Edward Wilson's doomed march to the South Pole with Scott of the Antarctic have gone on show in his home town of Cheltenham.

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.




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