Skip to main content
×
Home

Why didn't they ask Evans?

  • Chris S. M. Turney (a1)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

Arguably the best known scientific Antarctic venture was the British Antarctic Expedition of 1911–1913 led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Whilst the so-called race to the geographic South Pole with Roald Amundsen's Norwegian Antarctic expedition excited international interest, the tragic death of Scott and his returning Polar Party was a striking reminder of the hazards of operating in the south. Recent work has highlighted the possible role expedition second-in-command Lieutenant Edward ‘Teddy’ Evans played in the deaths of Scott and his men. Here I report newly discovered documents which, when placed in a wider context, raise significant questions over Evans’ behaviour during the expedition. The evidence focuses on the shortage of food at key depots, the apparently deliberate obfuscation of when Evans fell down with scurvy and the failure to pass on orders given by Scott. It is concluded that Evans actions on and off the ice can at best be described as ineffectual, at worst deliberate sabotage. Why Evans was not questioned more about these events on his return to England remains unknown.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Why didn't they ask Evans?
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Why didn't they ask Evans?
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Why didn't they ask Evans?
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Atkinson E. (1912). Letter to Charles Wright, 22 February 1912 (MS 1178/1;D). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Atkinson E. (1913). Letter to Kathleen Scott, 21 April 1913 (MS 1453/46/1-12;D). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Atkinson E. (1919). Letter to Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 5 December 1919 (MS 873/2/1;WJ). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Back J. D. (1992). The quiet land: the diaries of Frank Debenham. Bluntisham: Bluntisham Books/Erskine Press.
Baigent E. (2010). ‘Deeds not words’? Life writing and early twentieth-century British polar exploration. In: Naylor S. & Ryan J. R. (Eds.), New spaces of exploration: geographies of discovery in the twentieth century (pp. 2351). London: I.B. Tauris.
Beaumont L. (1913a). Letter to Kathleen Scott, 15 March 1913 (MS 2;D). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Beaumont L. (1913b). Letter to Lord Curzon, 17 April 1913 (Mss.Eur.F112/51). London: British Library.
Beaumont L. (1913c). Letter to Kathleen Scott, 18 April 1913 (MS 2;D). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute
Beaumont L. (1913d). Letter to Lord Curzon, 19 April 1913 (Mss.Eur.F112/51). London: British Library.
Beaumont L. (1913e). Letter to Lord Curzon, 24 April 1913 (Mss.Eur.F112/51). London: British Library.
Bomann-Larsen T. (2006). Roald Amundsen. Stroud: Sutton Publishing.
Bowers H. (2012). The South Pole journals. Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Bull C. & Wright P. F. (1993). Silas: the Antarctic diaries and memoir of Charles S. Wright. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.
Cherry-Garrard A. (1913a). Diary, 16 January to 15 March 1913 (MS 559/11;BJ). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Cherry-Garrard A. (1913b). Letter to Edward Atkinson, 3 April 1913 (MS 559/42;D). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Cherry-Garrard A. (1913c). Annotated Diary (Volume 4), 12 October 1912 to 9 March 1913 (MS 554/19/4). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Cherry-Garrard A. (1916). Letter to William Lashly, 5 May 1916 (MS 873/2/12;WJ). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Cherry-Garrard A. (1919). Letter to Edward Atkinson, 20 April 1919 (MS 873/2/1;WJ). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Cherry-Garrard A. (1922). The worst journey in the world (republished 2003). London: Pimlico.
Crane D. (2006). Scott of the Antarctic. London: Harper Perennial.
Curzon G. N. (1913a). Letter to Kathleen Scott, 15 April 1913 (MS 4;D). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Curzon G. N. (1913b). Letter to Kathleen Scott, 17 April 1913 (MS 841/1/1-2;D). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Curzon G. N. (1913c). Notes, 16 April 1913 (BL MSS EUR/F112/51). London: British Library.
Darwin L. (1913). Letter to Lord Curzon, 18 April 1913 (Mss.Eur.F112/51). London: British Library.
Ellis A. R. (1969). Under Scott's command: Lashly's Antarctic diaries. New York, NY: Taplinger Publishing.
Evans E. R. G. R. (1912). Letter to Captain J. P. Irven, 5 July 1912 (MLDOC 1468). Sydney: Mitchell Library. Retrieved from: http://archival.sl.nsw.gov.au/Details/archive/110359048.
Evans E. R. G. R. (1913). The British Antarctic Expedition, 1910–13. The Geographical Journal, 42, 1128.
Evans E. R. G. R. (1921). South with Scott. London: Collins Clear-Type Press.
Evans E. R. G. R. (1943). British polar explorers. London: William Collins.
Fiennes R. (2003). Captain Scott. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
Goldie G. T. (1913). Letter to Lord Curzon, 18 April 1913 (Mss.Eur.F112/51). London: British Library.
Gran T. (1961). Kampen om Sydpolen. Oslo: Ernst G. Mortensen.
Hattersley-Smith G. & McGhie E. J. (1984). The Norwegian with Scott: Tyggve Gran's Antarctic diary 1910–1913. London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office.
Huntford R. (2009). Scott and Amundsen: their race to the South Pole. London: Abacus.
Lashly W. (1912). Diary, 24 September 1911 to 19 February 1912. MS 890/2;BJ. Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Lashly W. (1916). Letter to Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 11 July 1916 (MS 873/2/12;WJ). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Markham C. (1913). Letter to Lord Curzon, 12 February 1913 (BL MSS EUR/F112/51). London: British Library.
May K. & Airriess S. (2014). Could Captain Scott have been saved? Cecil Meares and the ‘second journey’ that failed. Polar Record, 51, 260273.
May K. (2013). Could Captain Scott have been saved? Revisiting Scott's last expedition. Polar Record, 49, 7290.
Ponting H. G. (Writer). (1924). The great white silence. London: British Film Institute (2011).
Scott K. (1913). Diary (Kennet D/5). Cambridge: Cambridge University Library.
Scott R. F. (1911). Letter to Joseph Kinsey, 28 October 1911 (MS-Copy-Micro-0528-1). Wellington: Alexander Turnbull Library.
Scott R. F. (1912a). Diary (Add. MS 51035). London: British Library.
Scott R. F. (1912b). Letter to Joseph Kinsey, 24 March 1912 (MLMSS 5599). Sydney: Mitchell Library.
Scott R. F. (1913a). Scott's last expedition. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
Scott R. F. (1913b). To the South Pole. Captain Scott's own story told from his journals. Part III. Edited by Evans, E. The Strand Magazine, 46 (September), 245264.
Scott R. F. (2008). Journals: Captain Scott's last expedition. Oxford: Oxford World's Classics.
Simpson G. C. (1923a). The meteorology of Scott's last journey. Nature, 111, 758759.
Simpson G. C. (1923b). Meteorology Vol. III: tables (British Antarctic Expedition 1910–1913). London: Harrison and Sons.
Skelton R. (1907). Letter regarding motorised sledge design, 11 June 1907 (MS 342/10/1/5). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Skelton R. (1910a). Letter to R.G.R. Evans, 22 March 1910 (MS 342/13;D). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Skelton R. (1910b). Letter to R.F. Scott, 31 March 1910 (MS 342/14/5). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Skelton R. (1911). Letter to R.F. Scott, 8 October 1911 (MS 342/14/9). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Solomon S. (2001). The coldest March: Scott's fatal Antarctic expedition. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Solomon S. & Stearns C. R. (1999). On the role of the weather in the deaths of R. F. Scott and his companions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 96, 1301213016.
Turney C. (2012). 1912: the year the world discovered Antarctica. Melbourne: Text Publishing.
Turney C. (2014). Captain Scott's secret. History Today, 64, 4041.
Wheeler S. (2002). Cherry: a life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard. London: Vintage.
Wilson E. (1912a). Diary (Add MS 45459). London: British Library.
Wilson E. (1912b). Sledging sketchbooks (MS797/1-2 BJ). Cambridge: Scott Polar Research Institute.
Wilson E. (1972). Diary of the Terra Nova expedition to the Antarctic 1910–1912. New York, NY: Humanities Press.
Wilson O. (1913). Letter to Lord Curzon, 20 April 1913 (Mss.Eur.F112/51). London: British Library.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
  • URL: /core/journals/polar-record
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4040
Total number of PDF views: 1064 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 3353 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 28th September 2017 - 11th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.