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Quiet moment to remember explorer

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 11, 2013

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THE descendants of Captain Scott's doomed polar expedition will spend time in quiet reflection today — exactly 100 years to the day that all hope died.

Rhossili-born Petty Officer Edgar Evans was one of five men who, under the leadership of Scott, failed in their bid to be the first to reach the South Pole. Beaten to the prize by Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition the British party perished in the frozen Antarctic wastes on their return journey in March 1912.

News of the deaths, however, due to the inhospitable nature of the environment hindering search parties compounded by vast distances, did not reach Great Britain until February 11, 1913.

Edgar Evans's grandson, John Evans, who is campaigning for a statute of his famous forebear to be erected outside Swansea Museum said: "My grandfather died on the Beardmore glacier, then captain Oates walked out and the other three froze to death in their tent.

"My grandfather and Oates are still out there somewhere.

"They found Captain Scott's diary and in it was the account of Edgar's death. He died at around 10.30pm."

The news was finally delivered via a telegram by members of the search party after Scott's Ship, the Terra Nova, reached New Zealand several months later.

Explaining the delay in delivering the worst possible news Mr Evans, who lives in Penllergaer, said: "My grandmother, Lois, didn't find out until a long time after.

"She was walking on the beach in Rhossili when the news reached her. She was devastated."

Although there are no official plans to mark the poignant date Mr Evans will carry out his own personal act of remembrance.

He said: "I will be going down to Rhossili and will look out to sea and remember them."

Meanwhile, the Edgar Evans Statute Appeal Fund is still in need of support if it is to reach its goal of raising £90,000 by the end of June.

The project has been given the backing of Swansea Council. Peter Acton, who is on the Edgar Evans Statue fundraising committee, said: "Edgar Evans deserves to be recognised."

To donate to the fund visit www.edgarevansfund.org

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