July 1, 2012

Winter 1912


At Cape Evans, there remained thirteen men, instead of the previous year's twenty-seven. Atkinson was in charge, with Cherry-Garrard, Wright, Debenham, Gran, Nelson, Lashly, Crean, Keohane, Dimitri, and Hooper. Williamson and Archer (the cook) had been landed from the ship.

"Everyone had got respect for him," Gran wrote of Atkinson later. "His wonderful qualities of leadership soon appeared in the winter hibernation at Cape Evans. He never gave orders -- only expressed wishes -- and more was not needed." [1]

In addition to being in command, Cherry wrote later, Atch and Dimitri "took over the care of the dogs. Many of these, both those which had been out sledging and those just arrived, were in a very poor state, and a dog hospital was soon built. At this date we had 24 dogs left from the last year, and 11 dogs brought down recently by the ship: three of the new dogs had already died. Lashly was in charge of the seven mules, which were allotted to seven men for exercise: Nelson was to continue his marine biological work: Wright was to be meteorologist as well as chemist and physicist: Gran was in charge of stores, and would help Wright in the meteorological observations: Debenham was geologist and photographer. I was ordered to take a long rest, but could do the zoological work, the South Polar Times, and keep the Official Account of the Expedition from day to day. Crean was in charge of sledging stores and equipment. Archer was cook. Hooper, our domestic, took over in addition the working of the acetylene plant. There was plenty of work for our other two seamen, Keohane and Williamson, in the daily life of the camp and in preparations for the sledging season to come." [2]


[1] Tryggve Gran, Kampen om Sydpolen, p.192, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.554.
[2] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XIV.

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