January 20, 2013

Monday, 20 January 1913


The cross on Observation Hill, photographed in December 1990 by Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA. [1]

"After 28 hours' loading," wrote Cherry on board the Terra Nova, "we left the old hut for good and all at 4 p.m. this afternoon. It has been a bit of a rush and little sleep last night. It is quite wonderful now to be travelling a day's journey in an hour: we went to Cape Royds in about that time and took off geological and zoological specimens. I should like to sit up and sketch all these views, which would have meant long travelling without the ship, but I feel very tired. The mail is almost too good for words. Now, with the latest waltz on the gramophone, beer for dinner and apples and fresh vegetables to eat, life is more bearable than it has been for many a long weary week and month. I leave Cape Evans with no regret: I never want to see the place again. The pleasant memories are all swallowed up in the bad ones.

"Before the ship arrived it was decided among us to urge the erection of a cross on Observation Hill to the memory of the Polar Party. On the arrival of the ship the carpenter immediately set to work to make a great cross of jarrah wood. There was some discussion as to the inscription, it being urged that there should be some quotation from the Bible because 'the women think a lot of these things.' But I was glad to see the concluding line of Tennyson's 'Ulysses' adopted: 'To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.'

"The open water stretched about a mile and a half south of Tent Island, and here we left the ship to sledge the cross to Hut Point at 8 a.m. on January 20. The party consisted of Atkinson, Wright, Lashly, Crean, Debenham, Keohane and Davies, the ship's carpenter and myself." [2]


[1] Wikimedia Commons.
[2] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, ch.19.

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