'These rough words and our dead bodies...." Robert Scott in Antarctica

  In early July I went sketching with the Sydney Sketch Group, a flock of sketchers alighting, in a quiet flurry of pens and pencils, brushes and paintboxes, at the National Maritime Museum. Much to see.  Inside the Antarctic exhibition, it was the words and clothes, the boots that told the story first hand.  Scott writes, knowing his party's appointment with death is at hand,"These rough words and our dead bodies will make our only tomb."

The clothes sketched here are Frank Debenham's balaclava and the hood of his windproof jacket - though I expect that term 'windproof' was not an absolute one, and the amber glass snow goggles of Chief Stoker William Lashley. That these awkward, string-bound, string-tied, which cannot have been in anyway comfortable, is what would keep Lashley from snow blindness is humbling.

Share this: