November 15, 2012

Friday, 15 November 1912


A commemorative card with an illustration of Oates's memorial, 1913. [1]

The search party went on to look for Oates, but found only his sleeping bag a few miles away. They put up another cairn and cross, which was marked "Hereabouts died a very gallant gentleman, Capt. L.E.G. Oates, of the Inniskilling Dragoons."

Amundsen's letter to King Haakon, left at Polheim 17th December 1911, and collected by Scott a month later. [2]

Back at what Williamson called "Sorrowful Camp", he and Gran found by chance a bag containing Amundsen's letter to King Haakon, among the debris on Scott's sledge.

Cherry, knowing now that Scott and his party had been only sixty miles away when he and Dimitri had waited for them at One Ton, was haunted by self-recrimination. "If only we had travelled for a day and a half," he wrote in his diary, "we might have left some food and oil on one of the cairns, hoping that they would see it.... It will always to the end of my life be a great sorrow to me that we did not do this." [3]


One of Amundsen's receptions, at an unidentified location. [4]

Amundsen lectured on his attainment of the South Pole at the Queen's Hall, London. Kathleen Scott was present; his photographs, she thought, "were very poor, & many of them faked -- painted etc." [5] (In the days before colour photography, prints and lantern slides were frequently touched up by hand.)

A Bristol schoolgirl who also attended one of Amundsen's lectures wrote in her diary, "Amundsen had a simply killing Norwegian accent. And we had to consentrate [sic] for all we were worth to be able to understand what he said. [The slides were] mostly coloured and simply lovely.... Amundsen told us that many people asked what was the use of trying to get to the S. Pole etc. The man said with the utmost scorn, 'Little minds have only room for thoughts of bread & butter.'" [6]


[1] Dundee Heritage Trust.
[2] Source unknown.
[3] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, diary, 15 November, 1912, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.556.
[4] Roald Amundsen Bildearkiv, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[5] Kathleen Scott, [source not given] quoted by Roland Huntford in The Amundsen Photographs (London : Hodder & Stoughton, c1987), p.8. In Mrs Scott's defence, it is difficult at times not to compare Ponting's brilliant photographs with the rather indifferent ones from Amundsen's expedition.
[6] Quoted by Roland Huntford in The Amundsen Photographs (London : Hodder & Stoughton, c1987), p.7.

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