Robert Falcon Scott
Royal Navy officer and explorer
- Great God! this is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without the reward of priority.
- Journal, 17 January 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition (1913) vol.1, ch.18
- Make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games; they encourage it in some schools.
- Last letter to his wife, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition (1913) vol.1, ch.20
- Should this be found I want these facts recorded. Oates’ last thoughts were of his Mother, but immediately before he took pride in thinking that his regiment would be pleased with the bold way in which he met his death. We can testify to his bravery. He has borne intense suffering for weeks without complaint, and to the very last was able and willing to discuss outside subjects. He did not – would not – give up hope to the very end. He was a brave soul. This was the end. He slept through the night before last, hoping not to wake; but he woke in the morning – yesterday. It was blowing a blizzard. He said, ‘I am just going outside and may be some time.’ He went out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since.
- 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.
- We arrived within 11 miles of our old One Ton Camp with fuel for one hot 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.
- Journal, 29 March 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition (1913) vol.1, ch.20
- 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.
- Journal, 29 March 1912; final words, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition (1913) vol.1, ch.20
- I have done this to show what an Englishman can do.
- Note found on his corpse; quoted in Bruce Chatwin, What am I Doing Here?