People gallery heading 1901: Living at the Time of the Census People and Places

The Naval Officer

The Naval Officer
In the summer of 1901, Robert Falcon Scott set sail aboard the Discovery as leader of the National Antarctic Expedition. A second expedition was to lead to his death in Antarctica in 1912.

Although Commander Scott was to become a national hero and symbol of dogged courage in the face of adversity, he was also a naval officer whose service record has similarities with that of less famous men.

Commander Scott on the Discovery  - link to an enlarged version
Scott's service record  -  link to an enlarged version

Follow this link for more on tracing naval officers.

Follow this link for more on tracing naval ratings (ordinary sailors).

Born in 1868, Scott joined the Royal Navy in 1883 as a midshipman. His service record describes him as 'zealous and attentive. Promises very well. An able & promising young officer.' After various postings, the last as torpedo-lieutenant aboard HMS Majestic, he was promoted to Commander and later put in charge of the National Antarctic Expedition.

Although the expedition was organised jointly by the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society, its ship, Discovery, was mainly crewed by naval men. Motivated by a combination of national pride, territorial ambition and scientific enquiry, the expedition sailed in August 1901 to survey South Victoria Land and to penetrate the ice barrier to explore the interior of Antarctica. Scott's report on the voyage is held at The National Archives (reference ADM 1/7645).
The second Antarctic expedition sought, amongst other matters, to win the 'dash' for the South Pole and ended when Scott and his companions died of exposure on the return journey. The last entry in his diary, dated 29 March 1912, read '…We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.' Census entry for Scott  -  link to an enlarged version
For more on Scott and Antarctic exploration, link to the www link  -  opens in a new windowAntarctic Philately website.
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