Friday, March 16, 2012

Captain Oates

From Capt. Scott's diary, from 100 years ago, today:

"Friday, March 16 or Saturday 17. — Lost track of dates, but think the last correct.

Tragedy all along the line.

At lunch, the day before yesterday, poor Titus Oates said he couldn't go on; he proposed we should leave him in his sleeping-bag. That we could not do, and induced him to come on, on the afternoon march. In spite of its awful nature for him he struggled on and we made a few miles. At night he was worse and we knew the end had come...he woke in the morning—yesterday. It was blowing a blizzard. He said, 'I am just going outside and may be some time.' He went out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since.

We knew that poor Oates was walking to his death, but though we tried to dissuade him, we knew it was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman. We all hope to meet the end with a similar spirit, and assuredly the end is not far.

Photo is a wonderful portrait of Captain Lawrence Edward Grace ("Titus") Oates.

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