One hundred years ago, the former whaling ship Terra Nova sailed out of Cardiff harbour for the Antarctic. On board were 24 officers and scientists who would carry out research in biology, geology, glaciology, meteorology and geophysics during the voyage. More importantly, the ship would later land Captain Robert Scott and his colleagues Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans, Lawrence Oates, and Edward Wilson on Ross Island in Antarctica. From their base camp, Scott and his men launched their doomed attempt to become the first men to reach the South Pole.
The story of the expedition – which led to the deaths in 1912 of Scott and his four colleagues after they discovered they had been beaten to the pole by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen – is one of the most poignant episodes in the history of British exploration and forms the focus of The Great White Silence, a film made by Herbert Ponting, the expedition’s official photographer. For the past two decades, technicians have been labouring to restore this precious record of Scott’s expedition and the result of their endeavours will be revealed in a newly restored print that will be screened in London for the first time next month with a live musical score by Simon Fisher Turner.
From the Swansea Museum Collection
Letter from Edgar Evans to his Mother.
Theme : People
This is a letter from Edgar Evans to his mother, dated 21st June,1910. He was at sea aboard the steam yacht, ‘Terra Nova’ (the largest whaler afloat, she sailed out of Cardiff on the 15th June,1910) bound for the South Pole. The letter is on headed notepaper displaying the seal of the British Antarctic Expedition – Terra Nova – Royal Yacht Squadron. ” My dear mother (Edgar’s mother was Sarah Beynon, daughter of William Beynon, licensee of the Ship Inn at Middleton, Rhossili. She married Charles Evans of Oxwich [a Cape Horner] in 1862. Sarah was widowed in 1907.) A few lines to let you know that I am in the best of health and I hope this will find you the same. We are at sea bound for Maderia [sic] and I’m quite sure that I shall not have time to write to you from there, as we shall be far too busy.