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Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

What does disappointment look like? What is the expression on a man\’s face, expecting death in the icy wilderness?

“The worst has happened”, Robert F. Scott wrote in his diary on January 17, 1912. The same day, Scott and four of his men had reached the South Pole after two and a half month\’s march through the ice fields. From a distance, they had spotted what looked like a cairn. Scott initially thought they had been mistaken, but half an hour later, they discovered a huge flag that fluttered in the wind.

Upon reaching the Pole, they found traces from lots of dogs, skis, and sleds. “The Norwegians have forestalled us and are first at the Pole. It is a terrible disappointment”, Scott writes on.

Two of the members of the expedition died during the march back. The other three – among them Scott himself – camped for the last time on March 19. The remains of which were found eight months later.

Herbert Ponting (1870 – 1935) was a photographer at Terra the Nova expedition, but because of his age (he was no less than 42 years old!), he wasn\’t expected to be joining the arduous expedition to the Pole. Henry Robertson Bowers was the photographer behind the images of the disappointed men at the South Pole. He sits on the left of the group photo. Two months later, he was dead, along with his leader Scott.

The Terra Nova Expedition, officially the British Antarctic Expedition, was an expedition to Antarctica which took place between 1910 and 1913. It was led by Robert Falcon Scott and had various scientific and geographical objectives.

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#1 A Grotto In An Iceberg

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

Herbert Ponting (1870 – 1935) was the expedition\’s official photographer. This is a beautiful shot, showing the “Terra Nova” from inside a grotto that was formed by an iceberg as it turned over, carrying a large floe which froze onto it. Both Ponting and Scott were struck by the colours of the ice inside this ice grotto; they were a rich mix of blues, purples and greens. Ponting thought

#2 Adélie Penguins At Cape Royds

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

#3 Amundsen\’s Tent At The South Pole

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

What a disappointment when the party found out that the Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen had preceded them by 34 days. Not a good day for a party. In addition to the tent, the Norwegian flag and other traces, they found a letter to King Haakon VII of Norway (which Amundsen politely asked Scott to deliver) and a note stating that Amundsen had arrived there with four companions on.

#4 Dog Team Resting By An Iceberg

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

#5 The Tenements

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

#6 The Five At The South Pole

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

Scott\’s party at the South Pole, 18 January 1912. Left to right: (standing) Edward Adrian Wilson (died March 29), Robert Falcon Scott (died March 29), Lawrence Oates (died March 17) (seated) Henry Robertson Bowers (died March 29), Edgar Evans (died March 17) Photo: Henry R. Bowers, Preus Museum\’s collection

#7 Capt. Scott Writing His Diary

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

#8 The Polar Party On The Trail

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

#9 An Iceberg In Midsummer

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

#10 The Last Rest

Fatal 1912 Scott’s Expedition To The South Pole Documented By Henry Robertson Bowers

On 12 November 2012, a search party found the tent containing the frozen bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers. After having read the relevant portions of Scott\’s diaries, the nature of the disaster was revealed. After diaries, personal effects and records had been collected, the tent was collapsed over the bodies and a cairn of snow erected, topped by a cross fashioned from Tryggve Gran\’s skis. The party searched further south

 

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