Scott of the Antarctic

34102 | 12.04.2010 | £99

Printed by Royal Mail. Designed by Adrian Bradbury
Scott of the Antarctic Scott of the Antarctic
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12th April 2010
Scott of the Antarctic Stamp Sheet (Smilers®)
A G Bradbury, History of Britain 56
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The Terra Nova Expedition (1910 1913), officially the British Antarctic Expedition 1910, was led by Robert Falcon Scott with the stated objective "to reach the South Pole and to secure for the British Empire the honour of this achievement". Scott and four companions attained the South Pole on 17 January 1912, only to find that a Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen had preceded them by thirty-three days. On their return journey to base camp, Scott and his party all perished. Their records, retrieved by a search party eight months later, ensured that their story would be known.

Scott was Britain's most experienced polar commander at that time, having previously led the Discovery Expedition to the Antarctic in 1901 04. The Terra Nova Expedition, named after its supply ship, was a private venture, financed by public contributions augmented by a government grant. It had further backing from the Admiralty, which released experienced seamen to the expedition, and from the Royal Geographical Society. As well as its polar attempt the expedition carried out a comprehensive scientific programme, and explored Victoria Land and the Western Mountains. An attempted landing and exploration of King Edward VII Land was unsuccessful. A journey to Cape Crozier in June and July 1911 was the first extended sledging journey in the depths of the Antarctic winter.

For many years after his death, Scott's status as tragic hero was unchallenged, and few questions were asked about the causes of the disaster which overcame his polar party. In the final quarter of the 20th century the expedition has come under closer scrutiny, and more critical views have been expressed about the reasons for its outcome. The degree of Scott's personal culpability remains a matter of continuing controversy among commentators.

Text courtesy of Wikipedia