Christie's

Online Documentary

Tryggve Gran’s journals provide a direct line from the here and now right back to Captain Scott’s freezing, fatal tent in 1912.

On 29 October 1912, the search party set out. They were looking for their leader, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and his four close companions, who a few months earlier had begun a quest to become the first men ever to reach the South Pole.

On 12 November, though, came a grim discovery: a tent containing the frozen corpses of Scott and two of his comrades (Edward Wilson and Henry Robertson Bowers).

‘All gastsly [sic]. I will never forget it so long I live — a horrible nightmare could not have shown more horror,’ wrote one search party member, Tryggve Gran, in his journal that day.

‘In a tent, snowcovered til up above the door, we found the three boddies. The Owner [Scott] in the middle… Birdie [Bowers] on his right and Uncle Bill [Wilson] on his left… The frost had made the skin yellow & transparent; I’ve never seen anything worse in my life.’