The Terra Nova Expedition:

The British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition, 1910-1913, was the second expedition Captain Robert Falcon Scott led to the Antarctic. One hundred years later, it remains imprinted in public consciousness as the venture in which Scott was beaten to the South Pole by the Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, then died on the return journey, along with four of his men.

Focusing solely on the tragedy, however, is to overlook the great accomplishments of the expedition. These include the first winter sledging journey in Antarctica, the collection of vast quantities of scientific samples and data, and the surveying of previously unknown coastal and interior regions of the continent. The expedition also generated what have become classic literary and visual accounts, including Scott’s own diary, Apsley Cherry Garrard’s The Worst Journey in the World, Edward Wilson’s watercolours, and of course, Herbert Ponting’s photographic plates of the expedition and the Antarctic environment.

In the temperament of the men, and the manner it was conducted, the expedition typifies the Edwardian era, but it also stands as a timeless and universal emblem of human endeavour. Against the dramatic backdrop of Antarctica, it will remain, without doubt, one of the greatest expeditions and exploration stories of all time.