January 20, 2011

Friday, 20 January 1911


Cherry-Garrard's sketch of the hut's layout. [1]

On the officer's side of the bulkhead across the middle of the hut, space was allotted to Bowers, Atkinson, Oates, Meares, and Cherry-Garrard -- soon dubbed "The Tenements" -- with separate labs/dormitories for Simpson and Wright, Day and Nelson, Ponting's darkroom, and Debenham, Taylor, and Gran together. Scott shared his corner space with Wilson and Lt. Evans.
"It will make things uncomfortable ... if they start slinging plates at each other," Oates commented dryly. [2]

Oates wrote to one of his fellow officers back home to arrange for mules for the next season, which Oates had recommended be got from India, for "if Scott goes elsewhere he will get stuck as he did with this lot.... I shall look pretty foolish," he added, "if they all die of cold on landing but they should be better than the crocks we have here." [3]


Building the hut. [4]

Stubberud and Bjaaland had to make a windbreak to keep out the constant snow drift. "In that way," Stubberud remembered, "we managed to dig out the site and get down to solid ground, i.e., blue ice, hard as rock. Because of the sloping terrain, we had to hack down about 3 metres for a length of 8 metres along the upper part to get the site horizontal. It was naturally a hard job; severe cold ... delayed the work. But in the end we did it." [5]


[1] Source unknown.
[2] L.E.G. Oates, [letter to his mother?], 22 January, 1911, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.406.
[3] L.E.G. Oates, letter to Maj. N. Haig, 20 January, 1911, quoted by Sue Limb and Patrick Cordingley in Captain Oates : Soldier and Explorer (London : Batsford, c1982), p.108.
[4] Roald Amundsen Bildearkiv, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[5] Jørgen Stubberud, "Den Siste av Sydpolens Erobrere", Vi Menn, No.5, 25 January, 1972, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.339.

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