Captain Scott's Antarctic team letters published in book
- 12 November 2012
- From the section Cambridgeshire
The last letters written by members of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to the south pole have been published to mark the 100th anniversary of the discovery of their bodies.
The Last Letters: the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13, has been compiled by Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI).
The bodies of Scott, Edward Wilson and Henry Bowers were found at their camp.
They died in 1912 after being beaten to the pole by a Norwegian team.
Scott, Dr Wilson, Lt Bowers, Capt Lawrence Oates and Petty Officer Edgar "Taff" Evans, reached the pole on 17 January 1912.
They had been beaten to it by Roald Amundsen's team.
'Most poignant letters'
At the time, Scott wrote: "Great God! This is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without the reward of priority."
Evans died in February on the return journey. Oates left the camp and walked to his death in mid-March.
The remaining three set up their final camp on about 19 March where they wrote final letters to their families and friends.
A search party found the bodies in their tent on 12 November, 1912.
The newly-published book brings their final letters together in full for the first time, along with the texts of other surviving letters.
Naomi Boneham, archives manager at SPRI said: "The men wrote in the hope that one day their loved ones and friends would get to read their words.
"These are some of the most poignant letters ever to be written from the polar regions and I am delighted we can now bring them together for a wider audience to appreciate."