March 17, 2011

Friday, 17 March 1911


Stuck in the Discovery hut -- now with the advent of Taylor's party crammed with sixteen men -- waiting for the sea to freeze so that they could return to Cape Evans, Scott became nervous and moody. "In spite of all little activities I am impatient of our wait here. But I shall be impatient also in the main hut. It is ill to sit still and contemplate the ruin which has assailed our transport. The scheme of advance must be very different from that which I first contemplated. The Pole is a very long way off, alas! Bit by bit I am losing all faith in the dogs -- I'm afraid they will never go the pace we look for." [1]

Venting his frustrations, perhaps, on the only available Norwegian, Scott gave Gran a public dressing-down for being "lazy" and "a malingerer". "All that remains," he fumed in his diary, "is to rid oneself as far as possible of the nuisance of his presence." [2]

"I could not help feeling a bit sorry for Trigger," Bowers wrote, "as he always meant well & was the youngest of the party. A year at an English school would have worked wonders for him as he is in every respect a nice fellow." [3]


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 17 March, 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[2] R.F. Scott, diary, [17 March, 1911], quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.373. See also Tryggve Gran's The Norwegian With Scott : Tryggve Gran's Antarctic Diary 1910-1913 ([Greenwich] : National Maritime Museum, 1984), p.16.
[3] H.R. Bowers, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.373.


  1. Scott's private screed against Gran appears to have been editorially removed from the diary entry for 17 March 1911 in my 1996 edition of Scott's journal. Has it been published in full anywhere?

  2. Anon, the only place that I know of is in the microfilm edition of Scott's diaries, I think the only full "publication" there is. I believe it is in multiple rolls, but includes all base and sledging diaries and the 1911 "South Polar Times".

    If you are curious and/or interested, you can find this microfilm edition in libraries near you through WorldCat ( by entering this search: no:47261

    The British Library has the last volume of Scott's diary online, but that is all, I suppose because the last volume is of course the most dramatic.