Captain Lawrence Oates.
A Brief Video Biography.
On March 17th 1912, the day of his 32nd birthday, Lawrence Oates walked to his death, from the tent of the returning Polar Party, and into the realm of Antarctic heroes. Oates was among a group of five men, who were on their return march from the South Pole, which they had reached on January 17th 1912. Led by Captain Scott, the group had discovered, to their dismay, that Roald Amundsen‘s Norwegian team, had been to the pole before them.
Defeated they turned for home, and their journey gradually descended into a desperate battle for survival. Edgar Evans died at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier on February 17th, and one month later, Lawrence Oates also met his untimely demise. Oates took matters into his own hands and gallantly walked to his death, deeming his afflicted presence a burden upon the survival chances of his comrades. His final utterance according to Scott’s diary were the now famous words – “I am just going outside and may be some time.”
With those words uttered, Oates probably crawled from the tent, such was the extent of his suffering, into the Antarctic blizzard that raged across the Ross Ice Shelf, and was never seen again.
Scott wrote “We knew that poor Oates was walking to his death, but though we tried to dissuade him, we knew it was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman.”
Below is an excellent video, on the life of the man who will forever be remembered for his gallant sacrifice, on Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf.
This film was produced for a student project as part of the refurbishment of the Lawrence Oates Gallery for the Scott Centenary in 2012, to provide disabled visitors with a virtual tour and access to the galleries. Discover more about Oates and Scott’s tragic mission to the south pole at Gilbert White’s House & Garden and The Oates Collection in Selborne, Hampshire. Gilbert White and The Oates Collection – with Thanks!
Lawrence Oates Walks To His Death Terra Nova Expedition On March 17th 1912, the day of his 32nd birthday, Lawrence Oates walked to his death, from the tent of the returning Polar Party, and into the realm of Antarctic heroes. Oates had been suffering intensely and privately throughout the return march from the South Pole.