Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX
Scotland and the Antarctic

Section 3: Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen

Scott's journey to the South Pole

'He doesn't understand, he doesn't understand his food dumps are too far apart'
William Speirs Bruce

The Discovery expedition brought the Antarctic to the attention of the British people. Its scientific success is often debated but the courage of the members of the expedition in exploring new areas of the Antarctic has never been in doubt. Lack of experience of living in the cold conditions of the south resulted in the failed bid for the South Pole, although the expedition did achieve a new 'furthest south' record.

In 1907 Robert Scott, with the backing of Clements Markham (president of Royal Geographic Society) launched an appeal for funds for a second expedition. It was at this time Shackleton was organising his own bid for the South Pole. Scott was furious at the poaching of his territory. In 1909, Shackleton got within 160km (100 miles) of the pole. He was the first to cross the polar plateau and returned home a hero.

Scott was to emulate Shackleton in his bid for the South Pole, taking the same route and also using ponies (which had not been a great success with Shackleton).

The Scottish Antarctic explorer and naturalist, William Speirs Bruce, was visited by Scott before he left for the south. Voices were raised when Bruce criticised Scott on the spacing of his fuel dumps. Unfortunately, Bruce was to be proved right.

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Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX