Polar Museum to show letters of Captain Scott expedition ally Apsley Cherry-Garrard

By Culture24 Reporter | 07 January 2014

Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a brave supporter of Captain Scott's British Antarctic Expedition, is to have his letters from the campaign shown in public for the first time

A black and white photo of an arctic expeditioner from the early 20th century
Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959). Photograph by Herbert George Ponting (1912). Antarctica, Ross Dependency© Scott Polar Research Institute
In March 1912, having reached One Ton Depot with supplies for Captain Scott’s returning Polar Party, assistant zoologist Apsley Cherry-Garrard was forced to return to base. His accompanying expeditioner, Russian dog-driver Dmitriy Gerov, was becoming increasingly ill, and a lack of dog food saw them depart after six days.

Unaware that Scott’s team roamed just 60 miles further south, Cherry-Garrard regretted his decision eternally. His role in the support team extended to finding the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers eight months later. But the author of The Worst Journey in the World will now have his letters shown at The Polar Museum, covering his trip towards the Antarctic via Madeira, South Trinidad, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Cherry-Garrard wrote the letters to his mother during the British Antarctic Expedition of 1910 to 1913. They include a break of his left wrist, the near-loss of Herbert Ponting, the expedition photographer, to hungry killer whales, and a final, poignant letter in which Cherry describes his correspondence as “ancient history on the light of recent events”.

Procured from lenders The Richard C Dehmel Trust, the museum will revolve the exhibition: letters from 1910, beginning with two telegrams on the Terra Nova’s departure from Cardiff, will be shown until February 8 2014, followed by sketches of the Ross Ice Shelf (February 10 – March 29) and writings from 1912-1913 (March 31 – May 17).

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