March 16th - On this day in 1912, Lawrence Oates, a member of Scott’s ill fated expedition to South Pole, walked from a tent into a blizzard, with the words “I am just going outside and may be some time”.
The sixteen man party arrived at the South Pole on January 18th 1912, only to discover the tent of Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, stating that his party had beaten Scott’s by 35 days. Scott’s party faced extremely difficult conditions on the return journey, mainly due to the exceptionally adverse weather, poor food supply, injuries sustained from falls, and the effects of scurvy and frostbite all slowing their progress. Oates’ feet had become severely frostbitten and it has been suggested that his war wound had re-opened by the effects of scurvy. On March 16th 1912, forgoing the pain and effort of putting his boots on, he walked out of the tent into a blizzard and 40 °C temperatures to his death.
His death is seen as an act of self-sacrifice when, aware his ill health was compromising his three companions’ chances of survival, he chose certain death.
- pastisthepresent posted this