Scott’s Northern Party played an integral role in his iconic last expedition, but how did they survive? Through the eyes of the men involved, Meredith Hooper recounts one of the greatest tales of adventure and endurance, which has often been overshadowed by the tragedy which befell Scott.
Their tents were torn, their food was nearly finished and the ship had failed to pick them up as planned. Galeforce winds blew, bitter with the cold of approaching winter. Stranded and desperate, the six men of the Northern Party faced disaster. Searching out a snow drift they burrowed inside. Lieutenant Victor Campbell drew a line across the floor in the gloom to establish naval order: three officers on one side, the three seamen on the other.
A birthday was celebrated with a carefully hoarded biscuit and they sang hymns every Sunday, so what kept these men going? Circumstances forced them closer together, their roles blurred and a shared sense of reality emerged. This mutual suffering made them indivisible and somehow they made it through the longest winter.