Scott's grandson marks centenary of fated trip

16:00, Jan 16 2012
Falcon Scott
TIME WARP: Falcon Scott at the table in Terra Nova hut where his grandfather sat.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott reaching the South Pole – and among those commemorating the event in Antarctica is his grandson.

Captain Scott reached the pole on January 17, 1912, only to find that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten him there, arriving on December 14.

His anguish is recorded in one of his final diary entries: "Great God! This is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without the reward of priority."

During his return journey, Scott and the remaining four members of his team perished from starvation and exposure, 20 kilometres from a pre-arranged supply depot.

His grandson, Falcon Scott, is in Antarctica working with the Antarctic Heritage Trust on the restoration of his grandfather's Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans.

"When I first walked in it was quite emotional for me," he said yesterday. "It was my first visit to the hut, there's quite a feeling of presence of the man. It's very much like being transported back in time."

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He arrived at the base on December 31 and, weather permitting, will stay until February 4.

The centenary is being commemorated at Scott Base with a dinner and speeches among the scientific community working there, which Mr Scott said was appropriate.

"My grandfather's expedition was primarily a scientific one and a lot of his work is being continued by people that are working here today."

He planned to take time out from his conservation work at Cape Evans today to pay his respects to his grandfather.

"I'll be going up to the cross on the top of Observation Hill [next to McMurdo Station], which is in memory of my grandfather and contemplating what happened 100 years ago."

The Dominion Post