January 26, 2011

Thursday, 26 January 1911


"Captain Scott and the Southern [depot-laying] Party .... Erebus in background. Photograph taken on the 26th of January 1911, by Herbert George Ponting." Standing, left to right, are Crean, Keohane, Gran, Scott, Forde, Meares, Cherry-Garrard, Oates, and Atkinson, and sitting on the sledge, Wilson and Bowers. [1]

As the pony teams made their way across land to Glacier Tongue, Scott and the dog teams came round on the Terra Nova to their rendezvous. "Pennell had the men aft and I thanked them for their splendid work," wrote Scott. "They have behaved like bricks and a finer lot of fellows never sailed in a ship." [2]

Pennell would later write, "From the first meeting with Captain Scott in London till saying good bye when he started on the Depot journey in January 1911, he never in any way showed me anything but the greatest kindness and forbearance, & I cannot say how truly grateful I have always been to him. "It seems almost a mockery to say that his example helps one now & will help in the future in getting over difficulties & despising one's own troubles & petty worries; but I do feel that to have been allowed to serve under such a man & to have been trusted by him in work that was his life's work is far & away the greatest reward the expedition could have given me." [3]

At the same time, Taylor, Debenham, and Wright, along with P.O. Evans to teach them sledging techniques, headed off for two months reconnoitering the glaciers west of Cape Evans, whilst Ponting, Nelson, Day, and Lashly set out on a short photographic trip to Cape Royds. Campbell and his Eastern Party were bound for a year in King Edward VII Land.


The hut was completed after ten days, while the men continued unloading and transporting supplies from the Fram, and hunting and flensing seals and penguins for the coming winter.

Amundsen wrote in his diary, "6 inches of snow fell during the night. The going was bad [but] we did 6 runs and tomorrow we will finish.... It was a brilliant piece of work, and I cannot but admire the patience and diligence of all concerned." [4]


[1] Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand.
[2] R.F. Scott, diary, 26 January, 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition : the Journals, v.1.
[3] Harry Pennell, letter to Kathleen Scott, 2 March, 1913, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.412.
[4] Roald Amundsen, diary, [27 January, 1911], quoted by Roland Huntford in The Amundsen Photographs (London : Hodder & Stoughton, c1987), p.83.

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