To Sir Joseph Kinsey, Scott wrote, "March 24th, 1912. My dear Kinsey, I'm afraid we are pretty well done -- four days of blizzard just as we were getting to the last depot. My thoughts have been with you often. You have been a brick. You will pull the expedition through, I'm sure. My thoughts are for my wife and boy. Will you do what you can for them if the country won't. I want the boy to have a good chance in the world, but you know the circumstances well enough."
"If I knew the wife and boy were in safe keeping I should have little regret in leaving the world, for I feel that the country need not be ashamed of us -- our journey has been the biggest on record, and nothing but the most exceptional hard luck at the end would have caused us to fail to return. We have been to the S. pole as we set out. God bless you and dear Mrs. Kinsey. It is good to remember you and your kindness. Your friend, R. Scott." 
He also outlined, in a paper titled, "Message to the Public", an outline of his defence of the expedition. "The causes of the disaster are not due to faulty organisation, but to misfortune in all risks which had to be undertaken."
"1. The loss of pony transport in March 1911 obliged me to start later than I had intended, and obliged the limits of stuff transported to be narrowed. 2. The weather throughout the outward journey, and especially the long gale in 83° S., stopped us. 3. The soft snow in lower reaches of glacier again reduced pace."
"We fought these untoward events with a will and conquered, but it cut into our provision reserve."
"Every detail of our food supplies, clothing and depôts made on the interior ice-sheet and over that long stretch of 700 miles to the Pole and back, worked out to perfection. The advance party would have returned to the glacier in fine form and with surplus of food, but for the astonishing failure of the man whom we had least expected to fail. Edgar Evans was thought the strongest man of the party."
"The Beardmore Glacier is not difficult in fine weather, but on our return we did not get a single completely fine day; this with a sick companion enormously increased our anxieties. As I have said elsewhere we got into frightfully rough ice and Edgar Evans received a concussion of the brain -- he died a natural death, but left us a shaken party with the season unduly advanced."
"But all the facts above enumerated were as nothing to the surprise which awaited us on the Barrier. I maintain that our arrangements for returning were quite adequate, and that no one in the world would have expected the temperatures and surfaces which we encountered at this time of the year. On the summit in lat. 85° 86° we had -20°, -30°. On the Barrier in lat. 82°, 10,000 feet lower, we had -30° in the day, -47° at night pretty regularly, with continuous head wind during our day marches. It is clear that these circumstances come on very suddenly, and our wreck is certainly due to this sudden advent of severe weather, which does not seem to have any satisfactory cause. I do not think human beings ever came through such a month as we have come through, and we should have got through in spite of the weather but for the sickening of a second companion, Captain Oates, and a shortage of fuel in our depôts for which I cannot account, and finally, but for the storm which has fallen on us within 11 miles of the depôt at which we hoped to secure our final supplies. Surely misfortune could scarcely have exceeded this last blow. We arrived within 11 miles of our old One Ton Camp with fuel for one last meal and food for two days. For four days we have been unable to leave the tent -- the gale howling about us. We are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake I do not regret this journey, which has shown that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another, and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past. We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last. But if we have been willing to give our lives to this enterprise, which is for the honour of our country, I appeal to our countrymen to see that those who depend on us are properly cared for."
"Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale, but surely, surely, a great rich country like ours will see that those who are dependent on us are properly provided for." 
To Bowers's mother, Scott wrote, "I am afraid this will reach you after one of the heaviest blows of your life. I write when we are very near the end of our journey, and I am finishing it in company with two gallant, noble gentlemen. One of these is your son. He had come to be one of my closest and soundest friends, and I appreciate his wonderful upright nature, his ability and energy. As the troubles have thickened his dauntless spirit ever shone brighter and he has remained cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable to the end. The ways of Providence are inscrutable, but there must be some reason why such a young, vigorous and promising life is taken. My whole heart goes outin pity for you. Yours, R. Scott. To the end he has talked of you and his sisters. One sees what a happy home he must have had and perhaps it is well to look back on nothing but happiness. He remains unselfish, self-reliant and splendidly hopeful to the end, believing in God's mercy to you."
To Wilson's wife, Scott wrote, "If this letter reaches you Bill and I will have gone out together. We are very near it now and I should like you to know how splendid he was at the end -- everlastingly cheerful and ready to sacrifice himself for others, never a word of blame to me for leading him into this mess. He is not suffering, luckily, at least only minor discomforts."
"His eyes have a comfortable blue look of hope and his mind is peaceful with the satisfaction of his faith in regarding himself as part of the great scheme of the Almighty. I can do no more to comfort you than to tell you that he died as he lived, a brave, true man -- the best of comrades and staunchest of friends. My whole heart goes out to you in pity."
To Kathleen, he wrote in part, "Make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games; they encourage it at some schools. I know you will keep him in the open air. Above all, he must guard and you must guard him against indolence. Make him a strenuous man. I had to force myself into being strenuous as you know -- had always an inclination to be idle."
"There is a piece of the Union Jack I put up at the South Pole in my private kit bag, together with Amundsen's black flag and other trifles. Send a small piece of the Union Jack to the King and a small piece to Queen Alexandra."
"What lots and lots I could tell you of this journey. How much better has it been than lounging in too great comfort at home. What tales you would have for the boys. But what a price to pay. Tell Sir Clements -- I thought much of him and never regretted him putting me in command of the Discovery." 
 R.F. Scott, letter to Sir Joseph Kinsey, 24 March, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
 R.F. Scott, "Message to the Public" (undated, March 1912), quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
 R.F. Scott, letters to unnamed recipients, March 1912), quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.