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Scott of the Antarctic Biography / Autobiography / Memoir resources

Full Name: Captain Robert Falcon Scott
Date of Birth: June 6, 1868
Place of Birth: Devonport, Devonshire, England
Died: March 30, 1912
Place of Death: Antarctica
Classification: Heroes & Icons

   

Short Biography of Scott of the Antarctic

Revealed later in his published journal, Scott of the Antarctic would become a famed British naval officer turned explorer who attempted to reach the South Pole before the Norwegians. While he didn’t end up winning the race, he became famous for his heroism while trying to wait out a winter storm that cost his and his men’s lives just eleven miles from the depot that would have been their salvation.

Born to a middle-class family, Scott decided the military would provide him a way to fulfill his aspirations. He entered naval college and within a couple of years became a midshipman. And, just before the turn of the century in 1900, was made a first lieutenant. He had already been working with Sir Clements Markham, a promoter for British world exploration, who gained governmental backing for the voyage to the South Pole, and Scott was made its leader.

While his first attempt to reach the Pole failed, a second voyage in 1910, after setting new records for exploration south and being promoted to captain, he and his men gave the voyage another chance. Their documented mission was two-fold: to study the Ross Sea and to attempt reaching the South Pole. They began their journey with motorized sledges, small horses, and even dogs. However, fate had already become a part of their voyage when they first lost their horses due to the conditions, their motors froze up, and their dog teams returned because they were under trained.

By the time the men finally made it after nearly three grueling months of trekking, they found out that Roald Amundsen’s team had already flagged the Pole. The weather for their return was horrendous and caused them much hardship. In Scott of the Antarctic’s journal entry from March 29, the supposed day of his death, he wrote about “sticking it out until the end”. Their bodies were found eight months later, along with their journal records and specimens. He was regarded as a hero at home for his patriotic efforts and his family name was knighted for his dedication to the crown.

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