Welshman, Edgar Evans, joined the Royal Navy at 15. Eight years later he met Robert Falcon Scott aboard HMS Majestic. Although Scott was his superior officer, the pair developed a bond that saw Evans join Scott’s first expedition to Antarctica, and his final, fatal journey to the South Pole.
Edgar was one of the four men, Scott chose to accompany him on the last leg to the South Pole. Edgar injured his hand just prior to reaching the Pole, an injury that failed to heal, contributing to Edgar’s physical and mental decline.
His condition was exacerbated by a concussion received when he fell into a crevasse, as the party negotiated the Beardmore glacier on the return journey from the Pole. Too ill to continue, his four companions left him behind in an attempt to reach a supply depot as quickly as possible. Once their goal was reached, they returned for Edgar, emptying a sledge for the rescue. He died at the supply depot on the night of February 17, 1912. The first of the Scott’s five-man team to perish.
For all my dislike of the mythical hero that is Scott of the Antarctic, I cannot deny that Robert Falcon Scott was capable of engendering great loyalty in the men with whom he served. My opinion of the man is tempered by the respect in which he was held by those who knew him best.
May Wilson, Oates, Evans, Bowers and Scott forever rest in peace, on that harsh, unforgiving continent at the bottom of the world.