Figurehead from SS 'Terra Nova'

Contributed by National Museum Cardiff

Figurehead from SS 'Terra Nova'

Figurehead from the SS Terra Nova, the ship that took Captain Scott's ill fated expedition to Antarctica in 1910.

On 15th June 1910 a large and excited crowd cheered the 'Terra Nova' as she left Cardiff's Bute Dock. On board were Captain Robert Falcon Scott and members of his British Antarctic Expedition, who aimed to be the first to reach the South Pole.

There was so much support in Wales for the expedition that Cardiff was designated the 'Terra Nova''s home port. 300 tons of Crown Patent Fuel, 100 tons of steam coal and 500 gallons of oil were donated by Welsh coal companies. All the cooking utensils were given by the Welsh Tin Plate Company of Llanelli and even Scott's sleeping bag was bought with funds raised by the County School in Cardigan.

Scott reached the South Pole on 17th January 1912, only to find that a Norwegian Party had beaten them to it.

Scott and his team perished during the return journey.

100 years after departure, the figurehead from the 'Terra Nova' is the centrepiece of: 'From Coal to Pole: Wales and Antarctica'- the first Antarctic exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff Museum since 1914.

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