It’s hard to believe, but exactly 101 years since Scott and his companions were believed to have died, on 29 March 1913, a letter of his has been published. It was written, in the last moments before the freezing conditions overcame Scott, to his once superior, Admiral Sir Francis Bateman. Kept in family hands since, it has finally been purchased by the Scott Polar Research Institute for £78,816 and published.

Scott's last tent as discovered 8 months later

Scott’s last tent as discovered 8 months later, 11 miles away from the next food store
(from the Cambridge Network and the Scott Polar Research Institute)

Our initial impression, at the Antarctica Discover’s igloo headquarters, was to suspect skulduggery and conspiracy. What could a man, at the end of the world, at the end of a inhumanly gruelling race to the Pole, possibly write to his boss that needed to be kept hidden away for so long? Flattery hardly likely, we thought, it had to be the final shout of disobedience from the abyss, a last complaint perhaps for non-delivery of the long promised dogs? (more…)