SCOTT & The South-Pole

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5 - "Terra Nova Expedition (19101912)"

Just before our little backgrounder, I left off with a very short note on The Nimrod Expedition (190709) which Shackleton led. Now, I must lead into the principal object of this work: The Terra Nova Expedition (19101912).

After The Discovery Expedition (19011904), Scott returned to England and completed his report, a report which was pitched, in parts, re: the importance to getting back there. After his report he resumed his naval career. Within a couple of years, news of Skackleton's adventures on the Ross Shelf (Nimrod, 190709), including how he had narrowly failed to reach the South-Pole, was circulating in London. It is yet a question on my mind, but it is likely that some positive steps had been taken by the Royal Geographical Society, planning and financing steps, I suppose -- before Skackleton's news arrived in 1909. It was not just Skackleton, but an international host of those who aspired to be the first at the South-Pole; that bothered Scott and his backers. They were not to be bested by foreigners; or, by those who go about, privately, exploring the Antarctic.

"As he made his preparations for a further expedition, Scott was aware of other polar ventures being planned. A Japanese expedition was in the offing; the Australasian Antarctic Expedition under Douglas Mawson was to leave in 1911, but would be working in a different sector of the continent. Meanwhile, Roald Amundsen, a potential rival, had announced plans for an Arctic voyage." [Yeah, Right!]11
Scott made his moves:
"On 24 March 1909, he had taken the Admiralty-based appointment of naval assistant to the Second Sea Lord which placed him conveniently in London. In December he was released on half-pay, to take up the full-time command of the British Antarctic Expedition 1910, to be known as the Terra Nova Expedition from its ship, Terra Nova."12



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Peter Landry