Robert Falcon Scott


British naval officer and explorer joined the Royal Navy at 14 years. In 1900 he was the commander of the English Antarctic Expedition. His travel companion was Ernst Shackleton. After leaving England in 1901, Scott placed the base camp on the shores of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. He explored the eastern part of the Ross Ice Shelf and the named the Edward VII peninsula. He in the company of Wilson and Shackleton has tried to reach the South Pole. They failed but reached the southernmost latitude ever, about 82 ° S. The failure of this attempt was largely due to a lack of experience of the participants in the use of sled dogs and lack of experience in the behaviour necessary in extreme environments such as Antarctica. The expedition returned in 1904.
In 1910 Scott organized a second expedition to Antarctica with the goal of being the first man to reach the South Pole. The ship Terra Nova sailed from England on 1 June. He again reached McMurdo Sound. Immediately it was clear to Scott that the South Pole would be a kind of race with the Norwegian Roald Amundsen. Both expeditions departed in 1911 from their base camps. But while Amundsen and his four companions were traveling with ski and sled dogs, Scott used Manchurian ponies and snowmobiles that soon proved to be defective, and sled dogs that nobody knew how manage. The party of four companions began a march of 2964 km. Scott reached the South Pole on January 18 1912, there he found the tent and flag left by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who had reached the goal 5 weeks earlier. The return trip was a tragedy and ended with the deaths of all participants. The officer Edgar Evans died after a fall, Captain Lawrence Oates sacrificed his life, hoping thus to save his comrades, Henry Bowers, Dr Edward Wilson, and Scott perished of scurvy and starvation on March 29 1912, just 18 km from a deposit. Their bodies, along with valuable documents and samples left by Scott in his tent, were found by a rescue team about 8 months later.

BIOGRAPHY curated by Piero Bosco