Captain Scott's Diary


  • Intro

    Captain Scott (1868–1912), is perhaps the most famous Arctic explorer in British history. He was the leader of the failed 1912 South Pole expedition, and has become legendary both for his heroic endurance and sense of commitment. After a gruelling journey, Scott’s team arrived to find they had been beaten by the Norwegian team. The remainder of the British team would all die on their return journey due to short supplies of food, appalling weather conditions and sickness.


    This is Scott’s final journal entry, from 27 March 1912, the day he and his remaining companions died. (Scott’s colleague Oates had already sacrificed himself, exiting the tent with the now famous words, ‘I am just going outside and may be some time’.) Given the treacherous conditions, the very fact that he could pick up a pen to write this journal is incredible. The painfully scrawled final words read ‘For God’s sake look after our people’. Celebrated after his death, Scott was later criticised by some for making bad decisions, such as refusing to eat the expedition dogs when supplies ran out.


    Shelfmark: Add. MS 51035, f. 39

  • Video

  • Transcript

    Captain Scott's Diary

    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. For God's sake, look after our people.

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