Scott's Crew

Meet the members of the British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition 1910–13

Credit: Scott Polar Research Institute
R F Scott
Robert Falcon Scott
Edward Evans
Edward Evans
Bowers headshot
Henry Bowers
Oates headshot
Lawrence Oates
Dr Atkinson headshot
Edward Atkinson
Edward Wilson
Edward Wilson
Charles Wright headshot
Charles Wright
Tom Crean headshot
Thomas Crean

Officers
Robert Falcon Scott Captain, CVO, RN+
Edward RGR Evans, Lieutenant, RN*
Henry Robertson Bowers, Lieutenant, RIM+
Lawrence Edward Grace Oates, Captain 6th Iniskilling Dragoons+
Edward L Atkinson, Surgeon, RN, Parasitologist

Scientists
Edward Adrian Wilson, BA, MB (Cantab), Chief of Scientific Staff and Zoologist+
George C Simpson, DSc, Meteorologist*
Thomas Griffith Taylor, BA, BSc, BE, FGS Senior Geologist*
Edward W Nelson, Biologist
Frank Debenham, BA, BSc, Geologist
Charles Seymour Wright, BA, Physicist
Apsley GB Cherry-Garrard, BA, Assistant Zoologist

Others
Herbert G Ponting, FRGS, Camera Artist*
Cecil H Meares, In charge of dogs*
Tryggve Gran, Sub-lieutenant, Norwegian, NR, BA, Ski Expert
Bernard C Day, Motor mechanic*

Messdeck
William Lashly, Chief Stoker, RN
WW Archer, Chief Steward, late RN**
Thomas C Clissold, Cook, late RN*
Edgar Evans, Petty Officer, RN+
Robert Forde, Petty Officer, RN*
Thomas Crean, Petty Officer, RN
Thomas S Williamson, Petty Officer, RN**
Patrick Keohane, Petty Officer, RN
Frederick J Hooper, Steward, late RN
Anton L Omelchenko, Groom*
Demetri Gerof, Dog Driver

Northern Party
Victor Campbell, Lieutenant, RN
George Murray Levick, Surgeon, RN
Raymond Edward Priestley, BA, Geologist
George P Abbott, Petty Officer, RN
Frank Browning, Petty Officer, RN
Harry Dickason, Able Seaman, RN

* Wintered in 1911 only
** Joined for the 1912 winter
+ Died on return from the South Pole

BIOGRAPHIES

Robert Falcon Scott, Commander, RN 
Nicknamed ‘The Skipper’ and also ‘Con’ and ‘The Owner’ (during the 1910–13 expedition). Born 1868. Entered the Royal Navy in 1886. In the Rover (Training Squadron) 1887–88. Spent four years in sailing ships. Torpedo Lieutenant in the Majestic, 1898–99. Took a special course in surveying, 
1898–99 and in magnetic observation 1900. Commander, 1900; Captain, 1904. 

After the Discovery expedition he was made a gold medalist of the Royal Geographical Society and similarly honoured by other societies and institutions. Scott wrote The Voyage of Discovery, published in 1905. He later led the British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition 1910–13 and died on the return from the South Pole in March 1912. His diaries were published posthumously in 1913, as Scott’s Last Expedition. Scott is commemorated with many geographic features including Mount Scott 65º 09’ S, 64º 03’ W; Scott Coast 76º 30’ S, 162º 30’ E; Scott Glacier 66º 30’ S, 100º 20’ E and also the Scott Glacier at 85º 45’ S, 153º 20’ E; Scott Island 67º 24’ S, 170º 55’ W; Scott Mountains 67º 30’ S, 50º 30’ E.

Edward Ratcliffe Garth Russell Evans, afterwards Lord Mountevans, Lieutenant, RN
Nicknamed ‘Teddy’ or ‘Skipper’. Born 1881 and educated at Merchant Taylor’s School and on HMS Worcester. Joined the Royal Navy in 1896. As a sub-lieutenant on the Morning, took part in the relief of Scott’s Discovery expedition in 1902. In 1910, he joined the Terra Nova expedition as navigator and second-in-command. In the Antarctic he was leader of the last supporting party to leave Scott on the journey to the South Pole. During the return journey he suffered acutely from scurvy and would have died had it not been for the efforts of his two companions William Lashly and Thomas Crean to sledge him back to base. He was invalided home in 1912 but returned in the Terra Nova in January 1913 to take charge during the last few weeks of the expedition. His account of Scott’s last expedition was published in 1921 as South with Scott. He died in 1957 and is commemorated with Mount Evans on the Saint Johns Range in Victoria Land, 77º 15’S, 162º 29’E and Cape Evans on Ross Island 77º 38’S, 166º24’E.

Henry Robertson Bowers, Lieutenant, RIM
Nicknamed ‘Birdie’ because of his beak-like nose. Born 1883 at Greenock. Entered as a cadet on HMS Worcester. Served his indentures on a sailing barque to Australia. In 1905 he was appointed sub-lieutenant in the Royal Indian Marine serving in Burma and Ceylon. He was interested in polar research and introduced to Sir Clements Markham, President of the Royal Geographical Society, who introduced him to Scott, who was preparing for his second Antarctic expedition. In March 1910 Scott offered Bowers a place on the expedition as storekeeper. Initially, Bowers was a ship’s officer only, but before the Terra Nova had left New Zealand Scott decided to keep him with the Shore Party. He died on the return from the South Pole in March 1912. Bowers is commemorated with Mount Bowers (2,430 metres) near the head of the Beardmore Glacier 85º 00’S, 164º 05’E, the Bowers Mountains 71º 10’S, 163º 15’E and the Bowers Piedmont Glacier 77º 43’S, 164º18’E .

Lawrence Edward Grace Oates, Captain, 6th Iniskilling Dragoons
Nicknamed ‘Titus’ or sometimes ‘The Soldier’. Born in 1880. Joined the 6th Iniskilling Dragoons in 1900 and served as a subaltern during the Boer war. Oates volunteered to take charge of the dogs and ponies on Scott’s expedition and came home on leave to attend the interview. The War Office sanctioned an arrangement for his special extra-regimental employ with the British Antarctic Expedition, which Oates had to pay for. Oates died on return from the South Pole in March 1912 and the famous picture by JC Dollman of Oates going to meet his death in a blizzard ‘A very gallant gentleman’, now hangs in the Cavalry Club in London. Captain Oates is commemorated with the Oates Coast between Cape Hudson and Cape Williams 69º 30’S, 159º 00’E and the Oates Piedmont Glacier 76º 25’S, 162º 35’E.

Edward Leicester Atkinson, Surgeon, RN, Parasitologist
Nicknamed ‘Atch’. Was born in 1882 and educated at Forest School and St Thomas’s Hospital, London. From 1908–1909 he was on the staff of the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar and in 1910 was appointed parasitologist and bacteriologist to the Terra Nova expedition. He was in command during the last year at Cape Evans and succeeded in maintaining morale during the difficult time that followed the finding of the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers. For service during the First World War he was awarded the Albert Medal for rescue work after an explosion on HMS Glatton. He died in 1929 and is commemorated with Atkinson Cliffs on the north coast of Victoria Land at 71º 18’S, 168º 55’E.

Dr Edward Adrian Wilson, Chief of Scientific Staff and Zoologist
Nicknamed ‘Billy’. Born in Cheltenham, England, 1872. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge then medicine. Survived tuberculosis and joined the Discovery expedition to sledge with Scott and Shackleton to beyond 82º South. He became Scott’s closest friend and confidant and, on return, spent five years working on a survey of grouse disease. Shackleton wanted him to join his Nimrod expedition, but, partly out of loyalty to Scott, Wilson refused. He died on the return journey from the South Pole and is commemorated with Cape Wilson 82º 14’S, 37º 10’W; Wilson Hills 69º 40’S, 158º 30’E and the Wilson Piedmont Glacier 77º 15’S, 163º 10’E.

Dr Atkinson, Lieut Bowers and Mr Cherry-Garrard cutting up pemmican, June 23rd 1911

George Clarke Simpson, Meteorologist
Nicknamed ‘Sunny Jim’. Born 1878 and educated at Owens College Manchester. Worked at the Meteorological Office before joining the Indian Meteorological Service at Simla in 1906. In 1909, was invited by Scott to go as meteorologist to the Antarctic. His observations and research were published in the scientific records of the expedition. After the First World War he succeeded Sir Napier Shaw as the Director of the Meteorological Office where he remained until 1938. Simpson was knighted in 1935 and is commemorated with Simpson Glacier 71º 17’S, 168º 38’E, the Simpson Glacier Tongue 71º 15’S, 168º 45’E and Simpson Peak (1,720 metres) in the Scott Mountains 67º 43’S, 50º 07’E.

Thomas Griffith Taylor, Senior Geologist
Known as ‘Griff’. Born 1880 at Walthamstow, Essex. Studied at the University of Sydney and Cambridge. Worked as a physiographer for the Australian Weather Service before joining the expedition. In 1915 his account of Scott’s expedition, With Scott: The Silver Lining, was published. 
He was Associate Professor of Geography in the University of Sydney, Senior Professor of Geography in the University of Chicago and Professor of Geography at Toronto University. He died in 1964 and is commemorated with the Taylor Glacier 67º 27’S, 60º 50’E lying east of Hayes Peak, the Taylor Glacier 77º 44’S, 162º 10’E and the Taylor Valley 77º 37’S, 163º 00’E.

Edward W Nelson, Biologist
Nicknamed ‘Marie’ or ‘Bronte’. Educated at Clifton, Tonbridge and Cambridge. Joined the Terra Nova expedition as an invertebrate zoologist and also carried out tidal observations while at Cape Evans. Commemorated with Nelson Cliff at the west side of the Simpson Glacier 71º 14’S, 168º 42’E.

Frank Debenham, Geologist
Known as ‘Deb’. Born at Bowral, New South Wales, Australia, 1883. Graduated from Sydney University and soon after joined Scott’s expedition. During the summer of 1911–12 he accompanied the Northern Party as geologist, and the mapping experience led to an interest in cartography and surveying. After service in Salonika during the First World War he went to Cambridge and became a fellow of Gonville and Caius College and lecturer in cartography. In 1920, he established the Scott Polar Research Institute, with James Wordie and Raymond Priestley, and was its first director until his retirement in 1946. Debenham was also responsible for developing the Department of Geography in the university and appointed its first professor in 1931. He is commemorated with Debenham Glacier, the glacier flowing into the northern part of Wilson Piedmont Glacier 77º 10’S, 162º 38’E; the Debenham Islands between Millerand Island and the west coast of Graham Land 68º 08’S, 67º 07’W and Debenham Peak (1,140 metres) in the Scott Mountains 67º 21’S, 50º 26’E.

Charles Seymour Wright, Physicist
Nicknamed ‘Silas’. Born 1887, in Toronto and educated at Upper Canada College. An undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. After a distinguished career in the First World War he became Director of the Admiralty Research Laboratory and Director of Scientific Research at the Admiralty. With the formation of the Royal Naval Scientific Service in 1946 he was appointed first chief of the service. He returned to North America to work at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the Defence Research Board of Canada’s Pacific Naval Laboratory and the University of British Columbia. He retired in British Columbia. His report on the glaciological work of the Terra Nova expedition, written jointly with Sir Raymond Priestley and published in 1922, became a classic in its field. He was knighted in 1946 and died in 1975. Sir Charles Wright is commemorated with Mount Wright in the north part of the Admiralty Mountains 71º 33’S, 169º 10’E; Wright Bay between the west side of the Helen Glacier Tongue and the mainland 66º 34’S, 93º 37’E; Wright Lower Glacier 77º 25’S, 163º 00’E; Wright Upper Glacier 77º 32’S, 160ºo 35’E and the Wright Valley 77º 31’S, 161º 50’E.

Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard, Assistant Zoologist
Known as ‘Cherry’. Born in 1886, and educated at Winchester and Oxford. In 1909 he was introduced to Scott by Wilson and recommended for the expedition. He shared every duty aboard ship and took part in every major journey in the Antarctic, including accompanying Wilson and Bowers on the 
mid-winter journey to Cape Crozier and travelling with the Pole Party two-thirds of the way to the South Pole. During the winter he edited the South Polar Times. In March 1912, with experienced dog-driver Dimitri Gerov, he tried to meet Scott’s returning party. His failure to do so, though no fault of his, preyed on his mind for the rest of his life. In 1922, he published his own account of the expedition, The Worst Journey in the World. Cherry-Garrard died in 1959 and is commemorated with Mount Cherry-Garrard on the north coast of Victoria Land 71º 18’S, 168º 41’E and Cherry Icefall in the Queen Alexandra Range 84º 27’S, 167º 40’E.

Herbert George Ponting, Camera Artist
Nicknamed ‘Ponco’. Born 1870. Worked in agriculture and mining in the western United States, then in photography in China and Japan. On Scott’s expedition Ponting preferred the title of ‘camera artist’ to photographer and set himself a high standard of work, destroying any negatives that didn’t meet his standards. His still pictures and films were well in advance of anything done by any previous traveller at that time. After the expedition he had a number of photographic business ventures. He was greatly affected by the loss of Scott and Wilson and spent many years perpetuating their memory, including with his film 90º South. Ponting died in 1935 and is commemorated with Ponting Cliff in northern Victoria Land 71º 12’S, 168º 21’E.

Cecil H Meares, in charge of dogs
Cecil was responsible for purchasing dogs in Siberia for the expedition. He was assisted by the dog driver Demetri Gerof who also was recruited for the expedition. He accompanied the Pole Party as far as the bottom of the Beardmore Glacier. Meares died in 1937 and is commemorated with Meares Cliff along the north coast of Victoria Land 71º 12’S, 168º 25’

Tryggve Gran, Sub-Lieutenant, NR, ski expert
Born in Bergen, Norway, 1889. Educated in Switzerland and went to naval college. Tryggve was one of the most travelled members of the Terra Nova expedition. In 1910 he was introduced to Scott who was testing his motor tractor at Fefor. He was a top skier and demonstrated ski techniques for Scott who promptly signed him up. He was a member of the search party that discovered the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers. After the expedition he joined the Norwegian Flying Corps and later signed on as a captain in the Royal Flying Corps. He joined the Norwegian Air Force and after the fall of Norway in the Second World War was a prisoner of war. He died in Norway. Mount Gran (2,235 metres) on the north side of the Mackay Glacier 76º 59’S, 160º 58’E recognises his contribution.

Bernard C Day, motor mechanic
Born Wymondham, Leicestershire, England, 1884. Employed by the New Arrol-Johnston Motor Car Company before joining the Nimrod expedition. Served also on Terra Nova expedition, returning home after the first year. Settled in Australia. Applied to join the Ross Sea Relief Expedition 1916–17. Cape Day 76º 16’S, 162º 37’E.

William Lashly, Chief Stoker, RN
Born at Hambledon, Hampshire. Joined Scott’s Discovery expedition from HMS Duke of Wellington. Before joining the Terra Nova expedition, he served as an instructor at the Royal Naval College, Osbourne. With Crean, he successfully sledged Lieutenant Evans back to base after Evans succumbed to scurvy on the return of the last supporting party. He was awarded the Albert Medal and later served as a customs officer at Cardiff. He is commemorated with the Lashly Glacier 77º 57’S, 159º 50’E and the Lashly Mountains in close proximity 77º 54’S, 159º 33’E.

Walter William Archer, Chief Steward, late RN
Retired from the Royal Navy after World War II and ran his own catering business in London. An enthusiastic supporter of the Antarctic Club. Is commemorated with Cape Archer marking the north side on the entrance to Granite Harbour on the coast of Victoria Land 76º 51’S, 162º 52’E.

Evans, Forde and Crean assemble a sledge

Thomas C Clissold, Cook, late RN
Joined the Terra Nova from HMS Harrier. His expertise was highly praised by Scott. An accident on an iceberg while posing for Ponting prevented him from joining the southern Motor Party. He was one of four who hauled extra provisions to One Ton Depot in December 1911 and January 1912. After the First World War, Clissold emigrated to New Zealand where he became a vehicle inspector in Napier.

Edgar Evans, Petty Officer, RN
Known as ‘Taff’. Born in 1876 at Rhossili, Wales. Joined the Royal Navy in 1891 and volunteered for Scott’s Discovery expedition. On his return to England he became a gunnery instructor. He died near the bottom of the Beardmore Glacier during his return with the Polar Party in 1912. Evans is commemorated with the Evans Glacier flowing into the Beardmore Glacier 83º 47’S, 170º 00’E; Evans Neve which nourishes the Tucker and other glaciers 72º 45’S, 164º 30’E and Evans Piedmont Glacier in Victoria Land 76º 44’S, 162º 40’E.

Robert Forde, Petty Officer, RN
Born 1877. Took part in two depot laying journeys and was sledge master during the second Western Party journey, led by Griffith Taylor, in 1911. He died in 1959 at Cobh, County Cork, Ireland. He is commemorated with Mount Forde at the head of the Hunt Glacier in Victoria Land, 76º 53’S, 162º 05’E.

Thomas Crean, Petty Officer, RN
From County Kerry, Ireland. Joined the Terra Nova from HMS Bulwark. He served on Scott’s Discovery expedition as able seaman and later, on Shackleton’s Endurance in 1914–16, where he was a member of the James Caird Boat Party from Elephant Island to South Georgia. He received the Albert Medal for helping save the life of Lieutenant Evans and died in 1938. Crean is commemorated with Crean Glacier in South Georgia 54º 08’S, 37º 01’W and Mount Crean (2,550 metres) in the Lashly Mountains 77º 53’S, 159º 30’E.

Thomas S Williamson, Petty Officer, RN
Born 1877, in Sunderland. Served on the HMS Pactolus and then joined Scott’s Discovery expedition. Commemorated with Williamson Head WNW of Drake Head on the coast of Antarctica, 69º 11’S, 158º 00’E and Williamson Ridge in Marie Byrd Land 75º 47’S, 116º 45’W.

Patrick Keohane, Petty Officer, RN
From County Cork. Joined Terra Nova from HMS Repulse. A member of Scott’s supporting party that turned back from the head of the Beardmore Glacier on 21 December 1911. Was also a member of the search party that discovered the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers on 12 November 1912.

Frederick J Hooper, Steward, late RN
Born 1891. Joined the Terra Nova as a steward but was transferred to the shore party. He was a member of the search party that discovered the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers and took part in the second ascent of Mount Erebus. He died in 1955 and is commemorated with Hooper’s Shoulder (1,800 metres) on Mount Erebus 77º 32’S, 166º 53’E.

Anton Lukich Omelchenko, Groom
Born in 1883 at Bat’ki, Russia. Worked as a herd boy as a child and learned how to handle thoroughbreds before training as a jockey and excelling. In 1909, while working as a jockey in Vladivostok, he met Scott’s agent Wilfred Bruce and travelled with him to Harbin to buy Manchurian ponies. After fighting in the First World War, Anton joined the Red Army and was involved in helping set up a kolkhoz or collective farm, at Bat’ki. He was killed by a lightning strike in 1932.

Demetri Gerof, Dog Driver
Born around 1888 in Sakhalin, eastern Siberia. An experienced dog-driver, he helped select the 30 or so sledge dogs from villages in the lower Amur River region. After the expedition, Demetri went to England and then New Zealand before returning to Nikolayevsk to work in the gold mines. He died in 1932.

VLA Campbell, Lieutenant, RN
(Victor) Born 1875. First officer on Terra Nova. Leader of the Eastern (afterwards Northern) Party that left Cape Evans 25 January 1911 to set up a base in King Edward VII Land. Wintered at Cape Adare in 1911 and at Inexpressible Island in 1912. Promoted to Commander and fought in the Dardanelles during the First World War. Awarded DSO, OBE, and Polar Medal. Immigrated to Newfoundland in 1922 and died there in 1956. The Campbell Glacier and Campbell Glacier Tongue in Terra Nova Bay commemorate him.

George Murray Levick, Surgeon, RN
Born 1877. Qualified at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London 1922 and later joined the Royal Navy. Although not a scientist, he was a careful and patient observer and in 1914 published a definitive work Antarctic Penguins. Wintered at Cape Adare 1911 and at Inexpressible Island 1912 a surgeon, zoologist and photographer. In 1932, he founded the British Schools Exploring Society and became President. He died in 1956. Mount Levick (2,390m) on the north-west side of the Tourmaline Plateau in the Deep Freeze Range commemorates Dr Murray Levick.

Raymond Edward Priestley, Geologist
Born 1886. Educated at Tewkesbury Grammar School and Bristol University. Member of the Nimrod expedition 1907–09 and worked under Professor Edgeworth David studying the rocks of Victoria Land, at the University of Sydney. Joined the Terra Nova expedition in 1910 and wintered at Cape Adare 1911 and at Inexpressible Island 1912 as geologist and meteorologist. Research on glaciers in the Antarctic earned him a BA (Research) at Cambridge after World War One; became Vice-Chancellor Melbourne University, Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service (1953), Deputy Director of the former Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (now British Antarctic Survey). With Sir Charles Wright (q.v.) he is the author of the volume on glaciology in the scientific reports on the Terra Nova expedition. He was knighted in 1949 and died in 1974.  He also received the Polar Medal and Bar and the Royal Geographical Society’s Founders Medal. Features named after Sir Raymond Priestley are Mount Priestley (1,100m) rising on the north side of David Glacier in the Prince Albert Mountains of Victoria Land, the Priestley Glacier on the edge of the Polar Plateau and draining southeast between Deep Freeze Range and Eisenhower Range, Priestley Neve at the head of the Priestley Glacier and Priestley Peak on the south side of Amundsen Bay in Enderby Land. 

Frank Browning, Petty Officer, RN
Born in Devonshire, England. Joined the Terra Nova from HMS Talbot. Wintered at Cape Adare in 1911 and at Inexpressible Island in 1912. Mount Browning (760m) and Browning Pass in Victoria Land, are features named after PO Frank Browning.

George P Abbott, Petty Officer, RN
Joined Terra Nova from HMS Talbot. Wintered at Cape Adare 1911 and at Inexpressible Island 1912. Features named for PO George Abbott are Mount Abbott (1,020m) in the Northern Foothills in Victoria Land and Abbott Peak on the north side of Mount Erebus on Ross Island.

Harry Dickason, Able Seaman, RN
Born in Bristol, England joined Terra Nova from HMS Defiance. Wintered at Cape Adare 1911 and at Inexpressible Island 1912. Mount Dickason (2,030m) is at the head of the Boomerang Glacier in Victoria Land.

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