Tag Archives: “Birdie” Bowers

Apsley Cherry Garrard (CHERRY), CONTINUED

25 Jul

I wrote about Cherry’s childhood and his appointment to the ‘Terra Nova’ on 5th July.           This is part 2


The TERRA NOVA expedition, 1910-1914.


Cherry loved the life on the ‘Terra Nova’, but the expedition, which started so well, was to leave an indelible scar. Cherry was Wilson’s assistant zoologist, he became expert at skinning birds and animals. He enjoyed the on–board camaraderie and joined enthusiastically in any work that needed to be done. He was able to laugh at himself. Wilson wrote that Cherry ‘really is splendid’.


Scott’s brief was to continue the exploratory, scientific and geographic work begun on the Discovery expedition and to get to the South Pole (Wilson wrote, we must get to the Pole). In addition, Wilson had a personal aim – to investigate a possible link between dinosaurs and birds by investigating penguin embryology. A German zoologist and naturalist Ernst Haeckel, had promoted and popularised Charles Darwin‘s work and developed the theory “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” which suggested that an individual organism’s biological development, (ontogeny), parallels its species’ evolutionary development (phylogeny) i.e. if Wilson could obtain early specimens of Emperor Penguin eggs he might find scales to back up this theory i.e. that the birds had descended from dinosaurs.


Wilson chose Emperor Penguins for his investigation because they were flightless and he thought (wrongly), that they were amongst the most primitive of birds. Apart from Wilson’s scientific enthusiasm, there was the added incentive that if the theory of development could be substantiated it was entirely possible that the connection would earn the expedition the highly influential Darwinian Prize.


Wilson picked Cherry and his friend ‘Birdie’ Bowers for the 60 mile trek to the Emperor Penguin colony; a round trip of 5 weeks. The trip was to be Cherry’s first serious trial on the ‘Terra Nova’ expedition.


Emperor Penguin chicks had been found on the Discovery expedition and Wilson, thinking that the eggs would be laid towards the end of June, set out at the end of that month. Cherry embarked on a potentially suicidal journey, enduring almost continuous darkness, freezing temperatures – at one point down to -77°F, ice surfaces like sand, progress of about a mile per day, lurking crevasses and permanent fatigue. He developed blisters on his fingers that leaked puss by night and froze by day.

On the trip meteorological information on the Antarctic Ice Barrier was recorded. Cherry gave up hope of survival. His hope was to die without much pain.

I don’t believe minus seventy temperatures would be bad in daylight, not comparatively bad, when you could see where you were going, where you were stepping, where the sledge straps were, the cooker, the primus, the food….when it would not take you five minutes to lash the door of your tent and five hours to get going in the morning.



The Winter Journey around Ross Island to obtain Emperor Penguin eggs


The three men reached the penguin colony in nineteen days. In order to investigate the eggs in situ three precious days were spent building a stone igloo on a high ridge below the top of a hill (the remains of the hut were discovered by Sir Edmund Hillary on his journey to the Antarctic in the 1950s).


Penguin Colony


Finally the men collected five eggs, but Cherry’s eyesight was so bad that he fell repeatedly on the return to the hut and smashed the two he had been given to carry. Later the three endured another ghastly complication -with the wind was blowing ‘as though the world was having a fit of hysterics’ the canvas roof of their ‘hut’ was blown away and the three lay exposed to the raging elements, mummified in snow, in darkness and with no food or drink. They sang songs and hymns. Cherry’s admiration for his two older companions was without bounds.

They had also carried a tent. This was blown away by the storm, this loss made a successful return virtually impossible. When the storm abated, the tent was found. It was weighted down by ice and had dropped out of the sky like a closed umbrella. Wilson insisted they returned to their base.


Cherry, Wilson and Birdie Bowers after the journey to the penguin colony. Cherry’s fingers are stiff and swollen with puss. The trio were voraciously hungry and, when they warmed up, smelt horribly.


Cherry had contributed to the collection of meteorological records that would not be repeated for seventy years (and then by machines which malfunctioned). Despite this heroic journey for scientific advance when the eggs were finally examined, years later, the three eggs that Cherry left in the Natural History Museum did not prove the connection between dinosaurs and birds.


Cherry, aided by his friend and Hertfordshire neighbour George Bernard Shaw, later wrote The Worst Journey in the World, about the expedition. It is a best seller.


Cherry’s next big experience was the assault on the Pole. Scott divided the advance into three distinct sections: the Ice Barrier, the Glacier and the Plateau. The expedition set out with motor sledges, pony sledges (the ponies were to be sacrificed when they had got their loads to the glacier) and dog sledges. Cherry was a pony handler. His pony ‘gallant little Michael’, black eyes dulled with fatigue, was shot in early December. The next day Michael was eaten.


Cherry was one of the twelve men who strained and struggled to haul three laden sledges up the Beardmore Glacier — 120 miles long, 25 feet wide, riddled with crevasses and rising from 300 feet to 9000 feet. Scott whittled the advancing party down to eventually, five men. Cherry was sent back on the 20th December with three others. Characteristically he asked Scott if he had disappointed him—‘No, no, no’.


The assault on the South Pole


Scott sent the last party of three back on the 3 January 1912. The returnees, the Last Supporting Party, were led by Scott’s Second in Command, Teddy Evans who was to become seriously ill on the return.


Cherry’s personal trials were to evolve.


As is well known, Scott and his four companions all died on their attempted return from the Pole, but in February 1912, anticipation of a successful return was high. Scott had instructed that a sledge should be sent with supplies to ‘One Ton Camp’, a depot one hundred and fifty miles away on the Barrier. As arrangements were being finalized for this journey, news reached base that Teddy Evans had collapsed and was thought to be dying from scurvy, thirty –five miles out on the Barrier.


Dr. Atkinson, who had been going on the supply mission, clearly had to abandon these plans to go out and rescue Teddy Evans. There were few people at the Base – a decision had to be reached as to who should accompany Dimitri, the dog handler, on the supply mission. Of the men available, Wright, an oceanographer, was needed to continue scientific work. Cherry had to go; he was not a navigator, he had never driven dogs, he had awful eyesight, but with trepidation (‘I’m right in it’), he set out with Dimitri to find a depot 150 miles distant in a featureless barrier. His goggles misted, he struggled with the navigation; Dimitri had to pick out the cairns.


Scott had initially issued instructions that the dogs were to be saved at any cost (for a further attempt), but had apparently subsequently issued further verbal instructions, via Teddy Evans when he sent Teddy back, that the dogs should come further south to meet him (Scott) on his return. These orders were not transmitted to Cherry, probably in the confusion around Teddy’s collapse. Cherry, who would of course never disobey an order from Scott, thought his priorities were to save the dogs. In any case, as he set out for ‘One Ton Camp’ he had no reason to suppose the Polar party were in need of food.


But tragically, when Cherry was waiting in ‘One Ton Camp,’ Scott’s party were in desperate trouble, hoping against hope that the supply sledge HAD gone further south with the supplies that could have saved them.


At ‘One Ton’ Cherry and Dimitri were caught in a storm that made further progress pointless. The dog food was running out. Dimitri developed a paralysis of his right arm and side. Cherry had no idea that his leader was in desperate straits. On the 10th March, with just enough food for the return journey Cherry laid a small depot of food and turned north towards his base.


Dear Sir, We leave this morning with the dogs for ‘Hut Point’ (the base). We have made no depots on the way in being off course all the way, and so I have not been able to leave you a note before. Yours sincerely, Apsley Cherry Garrard.

(quoted in Sara Wheeler’s ‘A Life of Apsley Cherry Garrard’).


Scott Wilson and Bowers were to die later that month, just twelve and a half miles to the south of “One Ton Camp”


To be continued






26 May

This is an evocative group of images chosen from the thousands held in the SPRI collection relating to the 1910-14 British Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole

Scott wanted to record accurately the work, the living and camping conditions, the environment and the struggles that his men experienced. He engaged the services of a well-recognised ‘Camera Artist’ Herbert George Ponting. Ponting was well known for the quality of photographs he had made during his travels in China and Japan and he made the most beautiful records of Antarctic life on the Terra Nova expedition.

Ponting did not go on the long sledge journeys and did not accompany Scott and his team on their attempt at the Pole. He had to teach team members the difficult art of photography: Scott, Levick, Debenham, Gran, Taylor, Bowers and Wright picked up the intricacies with varying degrees of proficiency. They all made valuable records of their journeys.

Scott and Bowers recorded the final journey. The two had eventually captured the art well enough to make an important historical record of one of the most famous expeditions in Antarctica, but the learning process was not without problems. Ponting insisted that the men must show six correctly exposed negatives from six plates before progressing to colour filters (which were used to manipulate the contrast between blue and other colours in the black and white films). In training ‘Scott’s zeal outran his capacity’ on some occasions. Once, when no film appeared after developing for a few minutes, careful enquiry revealed that though he had put in the plate holder and set the shutter and checked other requirements he had finally forgotten to take the cap off the lens. Ponting reflected on how often he had made similar errors!

The final image of the five exhausted men at the South Pole was taken by Bowers, who released the shutter via a long thread.

Scott used a camera from A.E. Stacey and Co for his images, Bowers used a smaller camera. An orthochromic black/white photographic film was used. Scott’s photos were sent back to Base with the last returning team. Bowers images were found in the tent that contained the bodies of the three dead heroes when it was discovered by a search party led by Surgeon Atkinson, eight months after their deaths.

The exhibition brings the tragic story to light again and is well worth visiting.


20 Dec

Edward Wilson put his and the lives of his companions, ‘Birdie’ Bowes and Apsley Cherry-Garrard, at risk, when they made their scientific expedition to obtain specimens of very early penguin eggs in 1911. The three survived darkness, temperatures down to minus 76° F and a surface snow like sand, that held progress at little more than a mile on some days day. The sortie which lasted 5 weeks, was the subject of Cherry-Garrard’s book ‘The Worst Journey in the World’
Edward Wilson wanted to investigate the evolution of birds. Haekel had postulated that species pass through their early evolution in the embryo form and Wilson thought if he could get very early eggs he might find evidence of teeth or other evidence, that threw light on avian development. Had birds actually descended from dinosaurs? He chose penguins because, as they were flightless, he thought they were amongst the most primitive of birds. In spite of his fantastic efforts he did not find evidence to support the theory.
Now an international investigation The Avian Phylogenomics Consortium has revealed how birds evolved after the mass extinction of dinosaurs. After the asteroid hit some 65 million years ago, larger birds were exterminated but a few feathered species remained. These had an unrivalled opportunity to diversify.
The Consortium undertook the mass genome sequencing that has done much to explain the avian tree. Scientists examined small pieces of flesh from 45 bird species that had come from museums around the world. They were able to extract the birds’ genomes and add these to genomes of three species that had been previously sequenced. The genomes were compared and arranged into a family tree. The results of this groundbreaking work have been published extensively recently. Apparently it took nine computers the equivalent of 400 years of processor time to compare the genomes and arrange them in an avian tree.
As Wilson wished to investigate birds ARE descended from toothed dinosaurs, (as was shown in the fossil bird Archaeopteryx), but this analysis shows that their common ancestor lost their teeth more than 100 million years ago. A number of genes that allow bird song is similar to those that give humans the ability to speak.
This study throws light also on Emperors, Wilson’s particular interest. Emperors possess genes that make proteins for feathers, so that they have a dense coat that allows then to survive sub zero temperatures. The Emperor male, who nurtures his chick for weeks in the caterwauling gloom of the Antarctic winter, has three genes involved in lipid metabolism, which help it survive his ordeal without food.
Penguins evolved about 60 million years ago and have wonderfully survived ever since.

The Scott Expedition (circa 2013/2014)

27 Jan

As you may have read 2 adventurers, Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere are re-enacting Scott’s 1911 manhauling expedition to the South Pole. Their blog is: ‘The Scott Expedition’ and has many followers. The two hoped to complete the circuit from Scott’s 1910 Base on Ross Island to the Pole and back, thus finishing what Scott failed to do and by doing this, to complete the longest unsupported sortie  ever in the region.

They reached the South Pole on December 26, Day 63 {Scott took 77). The temperature was -26 degrees C. wind chill -35 degrees. They started on the return promptly. They had anticipated that the return journey would be relatively easier than the outward excursion but this was not the case.

Two days from the Pole, (Day 65) Ben described ‘feeling extraordinarily tired… knackered’. By December 29(Day 66), the going was even worse.  Their outward tracks were obliterated by snow, as happened to Scott and his team as they returned in 1912, Ben and Tarka’s satellite tracker failed. On Day 68, New Year’s Day, there was no blog. On January 2, (Day 70), Ben wrote of their exhaustion and said, unexpectedly, that they had failed to meet their mileage targets and had been running on half rations. He describes the food cravings so vividly described by Edward Wilson on Scott’s expedition and wrote that he was getting cold, frostbitten and confused (a symptom of hypothermia). The two fumbled with accustomed tasks. Ben wrote that they had half a days food left but were 74 km from their next depot. Resupplies were called for. Eight days of rations arrived by ski plane. This was no longer an unsupported journey but, after food and sleep, they could think more clearly and were WARM.

However their troubles were not over. Ben felt nauseous, got weaker and weaker, cold and lethargic. He describes how thin they had become.They had a rest day. On two days no blogs were completed.

Subsequently they had similar problems on the Beardmore Glacier, which they have now, happily, got down.

It seems remarkable to me that even now, with all the backup of modern technology, two recent expeditions,(this and Ranulph Fiennes), have experienced problems that so closely follow those of the explorers of one hundred years ago. In this case although the men were eating 6,ooo calories, (I understand it is not possible to absorb much more than this). They were still in a massive negative energy balance with weight, muscle and fat loss.

In relation to these difficulties, many supportive comments have been posted.  However ‘Kristoffer’ for one, has been critical. He defends himself to objectors by quoting, (amongst others), Winston Churchill, who wrote (or said), that ‘criticism may not be agreeable, but is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things’. It seems that what is missing here is an consideration of  the TIMING of the criticism, the ethics of making negative comments when the recipients’ morale is a bit low and when nothing can be done about the situation. I suspect people will vary greatly in their response, but I imagine Ben and Tarka would have preferred to receive and respond to, these remarks later.

The symptoms Ben records are interesting. It is possible that inadequate nutrition, dehydration and stress caused a shut down in the blood supply to digestive organs (the splanchnic bed). This is a survival mechanism. After rehydration and feeding the blood supply to this large area opens up again and this results in a temporary low blood supply to the muscular skeletal system of the body, hence the resulting weakness

A small point about Birdie Bowers: Ben wrote on Day 65, that Birdie abhorred skis and chose to walk instead. This is not the case. Birdie would never have been so unwise. On December 31 1911, as they struggled over the plateau, Scott ordered his second man- hauling team to cache their skis, possibly to reduce pulling weight. This team was Lieutenant Evans, Lashly, Crean and Birdie Bowers. Scott unexpectedly chose to take a party of five to the Pole, Birdie, ski less, amongst them. He had to go a long circuit before he picked up those skis again!


Edward Wilson, Birdie Bowers, Lieutenant Evans, Lashly, Crean, Kristoffer, Winston Churchill,

Professor Sienicki’s assertions about Scott’s ‘suicide’

1 May

I have received correspondence from Professor Sienicki’s team concerning my recent blog on the subject of The Weather and its Role in Captain F. Scott and his Companions’ Deaths. What follows is their letter, followed by my response.

I recently came across your blog post “The Weather and its Role in Captain F. Scott and his Companions’ Deaths, by Professor Krzysztof Sienicki”. I have been helping Prof. Sienicki with a book he has been writing, and thus felt the need to correct several errors in your blog post.

First, you make the mistake of stating Prof. Sienicki made a neural network across the Barrier. This is not correct: what he did was take weather data and ran it through an artificial neural network. You also failed to note the similarity of temperatures at Elaine (at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier) and Schwerdtfeger (near One Ton Depot) AWS stations he noted. These two AWS stations are on Captain Scott’s route. The conclusion is tangible: weather conditions along Captain Scott’s route would have been similar from Elaine onward.

With that in mind, you then fail to note Sienicki’s noting of the First Relief Party’s weather record in support of his thesis. The First Relief Party’s weather record can be found in Simpson’s Vol. III, Table 78, available here: http://archive.org/details/meteorology03simp Compare the Table 78 record with the Scott party’s record, while keeping in mind Sienicki’s observation that Scott’s temperatures were daily mid-day temperatures, and the conclusion is obvious.

Then you miss the point of Sienicki’s pointing out of Leonard Huxley’s falsification of the 1st edition of Scott’s Last Expedition’s temperatures and Jones’ papering over of them. His point is about their actions, not Scott’s. Sienicki pointed out more than an aggregated miscalculation by Solomon; he also pointed out her data dragging by misrepresenting the Scott party’s daily mid-day near surface temperatures after March 10 as daily minimums, and logical fallacies.

Finally, in your citing of Scott’s letter to Sir Bridgeman, you make the mistake of failing to note that the Bridgeman letter has for a long time been partially available in Scott’s Last Expedition, and you incorrectly indicate that the recently released content in the Bridgeman letter includes your quote. The actual recently released content is: “I want you to secure a competence for my widow and boy. I leave them very ill provided for, but feel that the country ought not to neglect them.”

In addition, with regard to your insinuation that the Scott party had neglected the sick, this is certainly in my view true regarding P.O. Evans, but it should be noted that Scott was not entirely consistent in regard to Oates being dead weight. See Scott’s diary entry of March 10 for these quotes: “In point of fact he [Oates] has none. Apart from him, if he went under now, I doubt whether we could get through…At the same time of course poor Titus is the greatest handicap.”

Your assertion that dying was not part of Scott’s plan betrays that you have made an all too common mistake: taking what Scott wrote at face value. Prof. Sienicki and I believe that dying was part of the Scott party’s plan. Evidence that they were stage managing their exit can be found as early as February 7, when Scott manufactured a food shortage, finding the rations short by 1 day and declaring that they hadn’t increased rations. In doing so, Scott deliberately ignored his own diary entry of January 29, where he declared that they would increase rations on “the day after tomorrow,” which would be January 31, and ignored his own diary entry of February 1, where he listed the ration increase as 1/7. 7 times 1/7 equals 1, so if they started the increased ration on January 31, this would place Scott’s party short of rations by 1 day at the beginning of lunch on February 7.

These details and much more will be detailed in Prof. Sienicki’s book, Captain Scott’s Fatal Antarctic Expedition: Slanted Truths-Centennial Account, due to be released this year.

Thanks for considering,

Kristoffer Nelson-Kilger


My concern is not on Professor Sieniki’s techniques, but on the interpretation of his findings.

He analysed weather data at various sites over The Barrier for a prolonged period. During this time the pattern of temperature change at different sites followed each other. Scott’s recordings of nearly a century earlier were at variance to Sienicki’s measurements (lower) and furthermore, did not follow the pattern of other explorers in the early 1900s. Professor Sienicki therefore thinks they were falsified.

He concludes that Birdie Bowes and Scott had decided that self destruction was the best way out of their situation and that, by altering the temperature records, they would strengthen Scott’s claims in his messages that the conditions the British team encountered were extraordinarily bad.

He then goes on to involve Huxley in a cover up, stating that where Scott had recorded positive temperatures, Huxley had changed them to negative. He states that Max Jones said the alterations could have been a mistake and that the renowned scientist, Susan Soloman is mistaken in her interpretation of the data.

You say that Sienicki proved that Scott and Bowers falsified evidence. He has done no such thing.  He has shown that the recorded temperatures were dramatically at variance from the norm. But he himself found temperatures approximating to Scott’s low readings in 1985.

The main point of my objection however is that whole tenure of the article is that there was a suicide pact. I think this most unlikely.

If Scott had lived he would not have been held responsible for the deaths of those he had lost, (Scott lost two men on the Discovery Expedition, Amundsen lost men in 1903-6 and 1918-25, Mawson lost his two companions in 1912-13. Shackleton lost men in his Ross Sea party. The last three were honoured). Scott had ‘played the game’ and this would have been respected by the British who honoured Teddy Evans who was sent home with scurvy. He would have been financially secure. He would have been promoted.

Birdie Bowers was a committed Christian and meticulous in his recordings. It would have gone against a lifetimes practice to falsify them.

Wilson, another committed Christian, who longed to return to his wife and family and, in the tent with them day and night as they weakened, does not get a mention. Did this intrigue, which would affect him so fatally, take part in the tent alongside their valued friend, somehow excluding him from their decisions?

The proposed scenario seems most unlikely and I do not think we are going to progress further on this one.

Isobel Williams

The Weather and its Role in Captain F. Scott and his Companions’ Deaths, by Professor Krzysztof Sienicki

1 Apr



I have just had my attention drawn to this paper published in 2010 which suggests that Scott and ‘Birdie’ Bowers ‘doctored’ the minimum temperatures recorded on the Barrier between February 27 – March 19, 1912, so as to dramatise the weather conditions. Professor Sienicki suggests that the party made a deliberate decision to die, a decision made before food and food supplies were finished or the men’s strength exhausted.

The argument is based on his recording of minimum temperatures from 1985 -2009, by a neural network across the Barrier. These he compared with historical recordings made by expeditions in the early 1900s, including the Discovery and Nimrod expeditions. He found a relationship between the minimum temperatures at different locations at the Ross Ice Shelf, i.e. a gradient at one station was followed by a similar change at another station. For example, though recordings at  McMurdo  (near the sea), are about 20° higher than those deep on the Barrier, the essential pattern of  change, from early February till 19 March over the years1993-2009, mirrored each other significantly, so the particularly low temperatures recorded by Scott’s party, (and, furthermore, not recorded by other historical expeditions over this period), are significant, unique and, he concludes, questionable.

The technique is carefully validated and Professor Sienicki dismisses the suggestion that Scott’s thermometer malfunctioned. He concludes that Scott and Bowers distorted the temperature documentation to exaggerate the real weather conditions.

He then goes on to say that Leonard Huxley edited and arranged the first edition of Scott’s journals (which gave negative temperatures), and actually shows Scott’s recorded temperatures from November 3, 1911 till 25 February 1912. These reveal that Scott’s recordings in Fahrenheit were positive. Sienecki quotes Max Jones in saying that ‘an establishment conspiracy covered up Scott’s failings, creating a hero by the careful editing of his sledging journals….’ hardly the work of the long-dead Scott. Whether these changes (from positive to negative degrees Fahrenheit) were deliberate has been debated, but this is hardly down to Scott. Sienicky also quotes Susan Soloman, who says that the average temperature recorded by Scott were 10-20° below respective modern data, and that one year (1988) recorded a minimum temperatures close to the 1912 reported data. He confirms with his own data that 1988 was exceptionally cold, but states that Soloman has miscalculated the degree of severity. However, Sienecki’s confirmation of near surface temperatures close to that reported by Scott, does not convince him that the Scott party really experienced unusually low temperatures. To this it is reasonable to comment that it is impossible to say that they definitely did not.

Professor Sienicki has made an impressive study of long- term Barrier temperatures, but his conclusion that Scott and Bowers deliberately falsified their records is unproven.

The recent publication of Scott’s letter to Sir Francis Bridgeman saying that they could have got through ‘if they had neglected the sick’ (possibly true), gives further weight to the conclusion that dying, for whatever reason, was not part of Scott’s plan.








1 Mar

Ranulph Fiennes must be gutted that he has had to give up his trans-Antarctic winter journey attempt before actually setting off in the Antarctic, because of his frost-bitten fingers.

But he had no choice. He has already lost several finger tips with frostbite which occurs when the temperature is so low that blood vessels constrict and  the flow to the affected part is significantly reduced. If this reduced blood flow persists the tissues die. and the surface skin becomes black. Gangrene may follow if the deeper tissues are affected.

The condition needs prompt treatment to limit the extent of the damage. The return of blood flow is painful.

I’m sure that the team will continue successfully with the many scientific aims that have been planned, also the big fund raising for charity.

The last time a man pulling expedition was made in the Antarctic was when Edward Wilson, ‘Birdie’ Bowers and Apsley Cherry-Garrard crossed Ross Island in 1911. The journey was very short by comparison with Sir Ranulphs expedition, but memorably awful.

Antarctic exhibition in the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

29 Nov

I love this exhibition. It shows the photographs of Frank Hurley and Herbert Ponting. The images are very different. Hurley’s were made under conditions of great stress when “Endurance” was caught in the ice and then when the crew were drifting on ice floes for well over a year. Ponting was a wonderful professional photographer; Hurley was not, but made a matchless record of the Endurance and her crew.

Both created memorable scenes. Ponting’s picture of the “Terra Nova” through the window of an iceberg imprints itself on the memory, whilst Hurley’s photograph of the brilliantly lit Endurance in the black Antarctic winter is an unforgettable image.

Ponting did a “mock-up” of the expedition members sitting round a Nansen cooker in a tent before they set off on their ill-fated journey to the South Pole. In this image “Taf” Evans, “Birdie” Bowers, Edward Wilson and Captain Scott smile optimistically at each other.