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Re: VMs: Re: Capt Titus Oates
Captain [Robert Falcon] Scott attempted a very brave feat - to become the first to reach the South Pole. For this he launched a very ambitious expedition in 1910 aboard the ship 'Terra Nova', after Shackleton's failure.
However, bold Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen secretly took a different course and beat Scott's party in getting there first by barely a few days. In the final stage of the trip, his companions were Evans, Wilson, Bowers and Oates. Exhausted and brokenhearted at the sight of the Norwegian flag waving there, they started the painful way back (1500 Km!). Evans died in mid February; by March, Oates could also go no further and knew he was holding back his companions. Scott wrote: 'One morning he said, 'I am just going outside and may be some time'. He went out [of the tent] and we have not seen him since.' . The phrase by Oates has become a universal symbol of English heroism and noble courage in sacrificing one's life for others.
The final blizzard caught them in late March, trapping them in their tent, running out of food but only 20 km from a pre-arranged supply. Eight months later, the search party found the tent, the bodies and Scott's note-books. His final diary entry, on 29 March, read: 'We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. Scott. For God's sake look after our people". On another page he scribbled, "Send this diary to my widow". Remarkably, Scott was able to find the strength, despite being half starved and three quarters frozen, to write twelve complete, legible letters. Their bodies were left beneath a cairn of ice and a cross of skis and are still there, buried beneath the snow and ice.
Later, near the spot where the search party assumed Oates had fallen, a cross was erected with the following inscription: "Hereabouts died a very gallant gentleman, Captain L. E. G. Oates of the Inniskilling Dragoons. In March 1912, returning from the Pole, he walked willingly to his death in a blizzard to try to save his comrades, beset by hardship."
For a full story of the expedition, another source, with pictures:
On Saturday, November 29, 2003, at 11:01 PM, Dennis wrote:
Actually, Captain Lawrence 'Titus' Oates' exact words
".... I am just going outside and may be sometime'
((from R F Scott's diary, 17 March 1912)
What was the question, though? (And the circumstances
[for Scott, that is]?)
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