Display commemorates Scott's South Pole expedition

Card showing Captain Scott photo and the 'Terra Nova'
A postcard in memory of
  the dead Antarctic heroes.
View full postcard image

One of the greatest stories of triumph and tragedy is told in a display at the National Library of Scotland.

'Scott's last expedition' uses material from NLS collections to recount the achievements of the men of the British National Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1913.

Four members of the expedition went with Captain Robert Falcon Scott on a gruelling trek across the Antarctic's snow and ice. Enduring extreme and hostile conditions, they reached the pole on 17 January 1912.

It was an epic accomplishment, but it took its toll. All five men died on the return journey — when they were only a few miles from safety.

National grief

As items on display reveal, it was January 1913 before word of their deaths reached the outside world.

As the news spread back home, the tragic story of the pole party stirred national grief. Their story of courage, heroism and endurance still resonates and fascinates today.

Letters on show

Expedition sponsors ranged from companies like Fry's, who provided the expedition with chocolate, to school pupils and other members of the public. Among the exhibits are letters from Scott to donors who helped fund the venture.

Also on show is a letter to Earl Haig written on the expedition's ship, 'Terra Nova', as she steamed back to New Zealand. In it Edward Evans breaks the sad news of the deaths, and asks Haig to keep it private until the relatives were informed.


Read more in the treasures display press release.

12 January 2012

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