Antarctica 100 years on from Captain Scott


By Peter J. Beck, published 17th September 2012

No longer "A Pole Apart": Antarctica 100 years on from Captain Scott

At last on 12 November 1912 the search party found the tent almost totally buried in snow. According to Thomas Williamson: ‘Mr Wright came towards us, and said it was the Polar Party ... it was a great blow to us, and I must own I shed a few tears ... I saw a most ghastly sight, three sleeping bags with frozen bodies in them, the one in the middle I recognised as Captain Scott'.1 Robert Falcon Scott, together with Edward Wilson and Henry Bowers, had perished during the course of an expedition to unveil Antarctica, the last continent to be discovered, the last to be explored. The principal aim was to win for Scott, and Britain, the race to the South Pole. In the event, the winner was Norway's Roald Amundsen, who reached the South Pole on 14 December 1911.

On 16 January 1912 Scott's fiveman polar party discovered a flag left by Amundsen to mark his route. Understandably, the next day a somewhat despondent Scott reached his goal: ‘The Pole. Yes, but under very different circumstances from...

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