Captain Lawrence Oates and Siberian ponies on board “Terra…

Captain Lawrence Oates and Siberian ponies on board “Terra Nova

Photograph by Herbert Ponting, 1910; a part of the collection at The Queen’s Gallery, which is showing an exhibition of Antarctic photography from the Scott and Shackleton expeditions.

Oates was a member of the British Antarctic Expedition 1910, the tragic venture led by Robert F. Scott to reach the pole.

Beaten to the pole by Roald Amundsen, Scott’s entire party perished on their return journey. Oates, in particular, suffered from badly frostbitten feet and from scurvy.

Realizing that he was holding back the rest of the party, Oates arose on the morning of March 16th, 1912, and without bothering to put on his boots, he walked out of his tent into a raging blizzard and temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius. His body was never found.

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