Captain Robert Falcon Scott
Captain Scott is known for beating and in turn being beaten by the perils of the Antarctic.
The histories of Antarctica and Captain Robert Falcon Scott will forever be intertwined, his story inspiring and cautionary, stirring and tragic.
Scott’s Discovery expedition in 1901 had discovered a vast and incredibly challenging landscape. That journey made the first climb up the Western Mountains to discover the polar plateau and, in doing so, set the record for the world’s southernmost journey. He returned vowing to be the pioneer that would claim the pole.
The prize of being first was a huge one – the goal had captured Europe’s imagination like no other. Scott sailed with British ambition to claim this honour.
Leaving Lyttelton in November 1910, he would sail the Terra Nova to the base on Ross Island. From there he led a five-strong party in their mission to the pole. The group left the Ross Island base on the 1st of November 1911. They reached the South Pole on the 17th of January 1912.
Upon arriving Scott was faced with devastating news. Roald Amundsen had beaten him there by just five weeks. After such a struggle he bitterly wrote in his dairy, “Great God! This is an awful place” and set out for the long return journey to safety.
With his base camp in some disarray a vital resupply mission never arrived in time to meet this return journey. Scott and his men died on the ice, 11 miles from the food depot that would have saved them. Knowing his life was coming to an end the last written words speak to the depth of his sacrifice, of conquering the South Pole and in turn being conquered: “For God’s sake look after our people.”