Plaque to mark South Pole explorer Captain Oates

Councillor Adam Ogilvie explains why the plaque to Captain Oates was needed

Related Stories

The explorer who famously sacrificed his life on Captain Scott's doomed South Pole expedition has been honoured with the unveiling of a blue plaque.

Captain Lawrence Oates stepped outside the expedition's tent in 1912, telling his colleagues: "I am just going outside and may be some time."

The blue plaque for him was unveiled at Meanwood Park in Leeds.

The Royal Dragoon Guards have also paraded in York to honour Capt Oates, who was a regiment member.

The 31-year-old was one of five men who died as they tried to return home from Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated expedition 100 years ago.

The group found they had been beaten to the pole by a Norwegian team, led by Roald Amundsen, by 33 days.

'Local hero'

On the return journey, Capt Oates became unwell. After his fellow explorers refused to leave him, he decided to take matters into his own hands by walking out of camp barefoot during a severe blizzard, never to be seen again. His body was never found.

The Leeds park, then called Meanwoodside, was owned by the Oates family before being sold to the city council in 1954.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, who performed the unveiling of the plaque, said: "The story of Captain Scott's expedition and Captain Oates' incredible bravery and self-sacrifice is one of the most famous ever told.

"Meanwood Park is one of the best-loved public parks in the city, and we are delighted to be putting this plaque in place so visitors can find out more."

Peter Bewell, president of Meanwood Village Association, said: "I have lived in Meanwood in Leeds for over 70 years and from being a schoolboy have always regarded Captain Oates as our very own local hero."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Leeds & West Yorkshire



5 °C 0 °C


  • A very clever little girlBrain gain

    Why are people getting better at intelligence tests?

  • BeefaloBeefalo hunt

    The hybrid animal causing havoc in the Grand Canyon

  • A British Rail signBringing back BR

    Would it be realistic to renationalise the railways?

  • Banksy image of girl letting go of heart-shaped balloonFrom the heart

    Fergal Keane on the relationship between love and politics

  • Don Roberto Placa Quiet Don

    The world's worst interview - with one of the loneliest men on Earth

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.