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Why didn't they ask Evans?: a response to Karen May

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 June 2018

Chris S.M. Turney*
Affiliation:
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia (c.turney@unsw.edu.au)

Extract

In ’Why didn't they ask Evans?’ (Turney, 2017), I draw together previously unpublished sources and new analyses of published material to cast further light on the circumstances that led to the fatal events surrounding the return of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Polar Party on the British Antarctic Expedition (BAE, 1911–1913). Of particular importance are the notes on the meeting between the Royal Geographical Society's President Lord Curzon and the widows Kathleen Scott and Oriana Wilson in April 1913, which explicitly identify Lieutenant Edward ‘Teddy’ Evans as having removed food that exceeded his allocation as a member of the Last Supporting Party (Curzon, 1913), the establishment and almost immediate closure of a ‘Committee of Enquiry’ chaired by Lord Curzon (Beaumont, 1913a, b, c; Cherry-Garrard, 1913a; Darwin, 1913; Goldie, 1913), the recognition of missing food at key depots by the returning Polar Party on the 7, 24 and 27 February 1912 (Scott, 1913a; Wilson, 1912), Evans’ anger at not being selected as a member of the Polar Party and his early departure home (Evans, 1912), the revised timeline of when Evans fell down with scurvy on the Ross Ice Shelf to apparently align with when and where the food was removed (The Advertiser, 3 April 1912, Adelaide: 10) (Cherry-Garrard, 1922; Ellis, 1969; Evans, 1912, 1913a, 1943; Lashly, 1912; Scott, 1913a, 1913b), Evans’ failure to ensure Scott's orders regarding the return of the dog sledging teams had been acted on (Cherry-Garrard, 1922; Gran, 1961; Hattersley-Smith & McGhie, 1984) and the misunderstanding amongst senior Royal Geographical Society members during Evans’ recuperation in the UK that Apsley Cherry-Garrard ‘was to meet the South Pole party, with two teams of dogs, at the foot of the [Beardmore] glacier’ (Markham, 1913). I would like to thank May (2018) for her comment and acknowledge that Edward Wilson's sketchbooks of the expedition's logistics, scientific priorities, sketches and notes on the BAE comprise entries from 1911–1912 and not solely from 1912, which Turney (2017) used to denote the year of the last entry.

Type
Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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References

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