Robert Falcon Scott

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Robert Falcon Scott
Robert Falcon Scott - Explorer (1868 - 1912)

Robert Scott, often referred to as 'Scott of the Antarctic', was an English explorer best known for his two expeditions to the Antarctic. The first of these expeditions was for scientific and geographical purposes, and was funded by the the Royal Society and the Royal Geographic Society. The purpose of the second was to become the first to reach the South Pole.

This page details facts about Robert Scott's life and the events that shaped his history.

Robert Scott the Explorer - Fun Facts for Kids !
Robert Scott Fact   1: Born on 6 June 1868 in Devonport, Devon, England, Robert Scott was one of six children born to John and Hannah Scott. Although John Scott was a brewer, there was naval and military history in the family, so Robert Scott followed a path of education that would see Robert Scott heading for a naval career.
Robert Scott Fact   2: Robert Scott began his naval career when he gained entry to HMS Britannia, the naval training ship at Dartmouth, as a cadet. He was just thirteen years old. Two years later, in 1883, Robert Scott passed out of HMS Britannia as a Midshipman.
Robert Scott Fact   3: Robert Scott served on board several ships, in various locations around the world, before passing his Sub Lieutenant exams in March 1888. In 1889 he gained further promotion to Lieutenant.
Robert Scott Fact   4:

In 1899 The Royal Society (an academy of science) and the Royal Geographic Society (RGS), were planning an expedition to the Antarctic. The ‘British National Antarctic Expedition’, put together to explore the polar region, would later become known as the ‘Discovery Expedition’, named after the ship which was specially built for the expedition.

Robert Scott Fact   5:

Robert Scott was selected by Clements Markham, the President of the RGS, to lead the expedition and was subsequently promoted to Commander. Robert Scott was also made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order by King George VII when he visited RRS (Royal Research Ship) Discovery before it sailed.


Picture of RRS Discovery

Robert Scott Fact   6: The expedition, which would last from 1901 to 1904, began as RRS Discovery left Britain on 6 August 1901 with a team of fifty men. The members of the expedition, including Robert Scott, had little or no experience of the Antarctic which would create problems as the expedition progressed.
Robert Scott Fact   7: During an early attempt at travelling over the ice, Robert Scott lost a member of the team, George Vince, who slipped over a precipice during a blizzard.
Robert Scott Fact   8: In November 1902 Robert Scott led a small team consisting of himself, Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson on a long trip south, taking them to within 530 miles of the South Pole. The journey brought about the physical collapse of Ernest Shackleton which caused him to leave the expedition early. During the second year of the expedition, Robert Scott journeyed west and discovered the Polar Plateau.
Robert Scott Fact   9: After freeing RRS Discovery from the ice with the use of relief ships and explosives, Robert Scott returned to Britain in 1904 with his scientific results which included zoological and biological findings. Robert Scott was welcomed home as a hero and received many honours, including promotion to Captain.
Robert Scott Fact 10: On 2 September 1908 Robert Scott married sculptor Kathleen Bruce in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace. Their only child, a boy named Peter, was born on 14 September 1909. Peter Scott would become famous in his own right. He was a founder of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and received a knighthood for his work in conservation.
Robert Scott Fact 11: In 1910 Robert Scott was released from his naval commitments to take command of the 1910 British Antarctic Expedition which would become known as the Terra Nova Expedition after the expedition’s ex whaling ship Terra Nova.
Robert Scott Fact 12: Unlike the Discovery Expedition, this expedition was not controlled by either the Royal Society or the RGS, so Robert Scott declared that the main objective was to be the first to reach the South Pole. Robert Scott decided that he would use ponies, dogs and sledges, and motor sledges to help haul the equipment on the journey.
Robert Scott Fact 13: Whilst in Australia before the expedition began, Robert Scott received a telegram from Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. The telegram indicated that Amundsen was also heading for the South Pole.
Robert Scott Fact 14: The initial progress of Robert Scott was hampered when Terra Nova became trapped in pack ice for twenty days after nearly sinking in a storm. Robert Scott faced further difficulties after losing a motorised sledge in the sea, and several of the ponies to drowning and the cold.
Robert Scott Fact 15: After setting up their main supply point, One Ton Depot, thirty five miles further north than planned, Robert Scott and his team began their journey to the South Pole on 1 November 1911. As the expedition progressed, it became smaller in size with successive support teams making the return journey.
Robert Scott Fact 16: When the time came for the last support team to return, Robert Scott chose the team that would make the final journey to the pole. The final team consisted of himself, Lawrence Oates, Edgar Evans, Edward Wilson and Henry Bowers. Robert Scott and his team finally arrived at the South Pole on 17 January 1912. Once there they discovered that Amundsen had arrived there five weeks earlier.
Robert Scott Fact 17: On 19 January 1912 Robert Scott and his team began the return journey. The initial progress was good, however the descent of the Beardmore Glacier proved difficult and the physical health of Evans began to decline. On 17 February, after two falls, Evans died.
Robert Scott Fact 18: Robert Scott and the rest of the team arrived at the point where they were to meet the dog teams 3 days early. A series of events had resulted in the dog teams not arriving and by 10 March 1912 and with 400 miles still to go, Robert Scott realised they would have to complete the journey on their own.
Robert Scott Fact 19: On 16 March Oates, who had frostbitten toes and feared he was holding the team back, left the tent and never returned. Twenty miles further on, the team made their final camp. With supplies running out and storms raging outside the tent, the remaining three members of the team were forced to remain in the tent where, by 29 March 1912, they died from starvation and exposure.
Robert Scott Fact 20: A search party discovered the final camp eight months later. Robert Scott's diary was recovered, however the tent, containing the bodies of Robert Scott, Edward Wilson and Henry Bowers, was buried beneath a high cairn of snow.
Robert Scott the Explorer (1868 - 1912) Fun Facts Info for Kids !

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