March 3, 2010

March 1910


Scott wrote to an old Discovery, P.O. Edgar Evans, asking him to come on the expedition. "I expect you will be appointed in about a fortnight's time, and I shall want you at the ship to help fitting her out." [1] Scott had known Evans from their days together on the Majestic, and since the Discovery expedition had come to value Evans's "Herculean strength" and resourcefulness as well as his colourful personality. [2]

Also signed on were other old Discoverys Lashly, Crean, and Williamson.

William Lashly, a forty-three-year-old Hampshire man, was a teetotaller and non-smoker, dependable, hard-working, and good-natured, and was called by Skelton as "far and away the finest man in the ship". [3] He would be the Terra Nova's Chief Stoker, and part of the landing party.

Irishman Tom Crean had joined the Royal Navy at the age of fifteen, and volunteered for the Discovery expedition, where his service as able seaman had earned him a reputation as being tough and capable. Albert Armitage, Discovery's second-in-command, wrote of him, "Crean was an Irishman with a fund of wit and an even temper which nothing disturbed." [4] Now thirty-two, he was signed on as petty officer.

Thomas Williamson had volunteered for the Discovery expedition, where he took part in sledging journeys including the Cape Crozier emperor penguin rookery in September 1903. Like Crean, he was now thirty-two and signed on as one of Terra Nova's petty officers.


[1] R.F. Scott, letter to Edgar Evans, [March 1910], quoted by Diana Preston in A First Rate Tragedy (Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1998, c1997), p.111.
[2] R.F. Scott, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.234.
[3] Reginald Skelton, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.234.
[4] Albert Armitage, quoted by Michael Smith in An Unsung Hero : Tom Crean, Antarctic Survivor (London : Headline, 2000), p.46.

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