Monday, November 06, 2006

A hero

I have a few odd memories of a book which my dad had in his bookcase stirred recently by my reading Ranulph Fiennes' excellent "Captain Scott". I must check to see if he still has it. I am thinking it's "Scott's Last Expedition" the book of the diary from Captain Robert Falcon Scott's 1911 -12 Antarctic trip to reach the South Pole. I remember it as having some amazing and quite chilling photo's in it of terribly frostbitten hands and the cairn that marked Scott's final resting place. It made a definite impression on me as a lad, going back to revisit the pictures over and over again with that morbid childhood interest that boys have (or is it just me??)

Now I'm a "grown up" and reading the story it is an astonishing, tragic yet immensely inspiring tale, one that has enraptured me for the last week. Project Gutenberg, an online library has a copy of Scott's diaries to download and read, I'm dipping into it as a means of highlighting the Fiennes book. I heartily recommend you take a look, and read in awe, the exploits of some of the most truly courageous men.

"March 29, 1912. We had fuel to make 2 cups of tea and food for 2 days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker...and the end cannot be far. For God's sake look after our people."

No comments: