Born on June 6th 1868 in England, Robert Falcon Scott, a British Royal Naval Officer and an Antarctic explorer was famous for his two expeditions to the South Pole. He was the third child of his parents in Devon. His family was traditionally in the armed services, and he carried the legacy further.
He had his education at Stubbington House School, Hampshire, and began his naval career in 1881 as naval cadet, after the naval training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth.
He had an impressive naval career later, with progressive flow from a cadet to a Sub-Lieutenant in 1888 at Greenwich from Royal Naval College, and promoted to the post of Lieutenant in 1889. He went through the 2-year torpedo training course in 1891 which marked as a significant step in his career.
Originally called as the British National Antarctic Expedition, the Discovery Expedition raised Scott to fame. It was a joint collaboration of the RGS and the Royal Society, initiated by Markham (now Sir Clements and RGS President). But Scott led the team and was promoted to the naval rank of Commander before the expedition took off for Antarctic on 31 July 1901.
The first 2 years were challenging and the major objective was the long march down south along with the quest for the Pole. Scott’s team had a bad experience marching to a latitude of 82°17′S, to the Pole covering 460 nautical miles (850 km, 530 miles).
The second year saw a significant improvement in the accomplishments, leading to the discovery of the Polar Plateau. Scott became a popular hero after this, in 1904. He was honored with the title of ‘Legion of Honor’, and promoted to the Royal Navy rank of Captain. In 1906, he resumed his naval career. He got married to Kathleen Bruce in 1907, and they had only child Peter Markham Scott.
Terra Nova Expedition’s main objective was to reach the South Pole first. The RGS or the Royal Society was not involved this time. Scott pioneered the routes and laid down some complex strategies which included the use of dogs, horses, motor sledges and even man-hauling.
Poor analysis of the resources, time mismanagement, frostbite, snow-blindness, hunger and exhaustion, somehow led to the demise of the team members gradually. Scott died on 29 March 1912, and the bodies of all were discovered in the tent later.