A Relic From The Terra Nova Expedition
Discovery of George Murray Levick’s Notebook
The Summer melt of 2013 at Scott’s Hut, at Cape Evans, Antarctica, yielded a long lost artefact from the Terra Nova Expedition. A member of the Antarctic Heritage Trust ( New Zealand ) discovered the notebook, which was owned by George Murray Levick, and had lain undiscovered, in the ice, for more than 100 years.
George Murray Levick had joined the Terra Nova (1910-1913) as the expeditions surgeon and zoologist, and he also took many photographs during his time in Antarctica. His notebook was a “Wellcome Photographic Exposure Record and Dairy 1910”, and he had recorded details of these photographs, within, such as exposure times, subject matter and dates taken.
Many of the images were taken, when Levick was part of a six man team, known as the Northern Party, who had ventured northwards along the coast, conducting scientific observations.
Scott’s Southern Party, had headed for the Pole in November 1911, and they reached it on January 17th 1912, but all five men would perish on the return journey.
The Northern Party were dropped off at Evans Cove, by the Terra Nova, in early January, and the ship was to return to collect the men on Feb. 18th, but heavy pack ice prevented this.
The men, with little rations left, were now stranded, hundreds of miles from the base at Cape Evans, and had to spend a torrid and unforgiving Antarctic winter in an ice cave, on Inexpressible Island. They would suffer greatly during this period, from frostbite, dysentery and the cramped conditions of the cave.
However the six men would survive the ordeal, having supplemented their diet with penguin and seal, and on September 30th they decided to attempt the perilous journey back to Cape Evans, and arrived there on November 7th 1912.
For some reason Levick’s notebook was left behind when Terra Nova departed Antarctica in February 1913, but it has now been restored by the Antarctic Heritage Trust, and returned to Scott’s hut at Cape Evans.