Wales

Captain Scott explorer Edgar Evans remembered in Swansea

  • 17 February 2012
  • From the section Wales

A member of Captain Scott's 1912 South Pole expedition has been remembered in Swansea on the centenary of his death.

Edgar Evans, from Middleton, Gower, was commemorated on Friday at a service at St Mary's Church in the city.

Around 200 people attended the memorial event, including his grandson, John Evans.

Petty officer Evans was the first of the party to die, after their Norwegian rivals had beaten them to the pole.

Evans met Captain Scott in 1897 while serving on HMS Majestic. He accompanied Scott on both the Discovery expedition to the Antarctic between 1901 and 1904 and the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition six years later.

During the expedition, Evans was responsible for the equipment and was valued by Scott for his strength, resourcefulness and cheerful manner, which Scott said boosted morale.

In his diaries, Scott referred to him as a "spirited man" who continuously said he was fine, despite suffering badly from frostbite.

'Downward path'

Scott described the last moments of Evans's life, writing: "His downward path was accelerated first by the shock of his frostbitten fingers, and later by falls during rough travelling on the glacier."

Evans was born on 7 March 1876 in the village of Middleton near Rhossili. He was the eldest of four and his family later moved to Swansea.

They lived at Hoskins Place off Lower Oxford Street and later at William Street.

After leaving St Helen's Boys' School he worked at the Castle Hotel on St Mary's Street and at Swansea's head post office before running away to join the Royal Navy at 15.

He became a physical instructor at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth and later a naval gunner.

The service was organised by the lord mayor of Swansea, Coun Ioan Richard.

Mr Richard said: "Edgar Evans is one of the greatest adventurers Wales has ever produced and his story still commands legendary status a century after he reached the South Pole.

"It's important his remarkable life is remembered."

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