Snow hero stories sought for Scott expedition centenary

08 January 2010

To help commemorate the centenary this year of the start of Captain Scott's heroic but weather-stricken Antarctic journey, the Royal Society of Chemistry is offering a prize to the person it judges to be the most dauntless traveller during the current big freeze.

One hundred years after the world-famous Scott Terra Nova expedition began the society is offering a 300 prize to the individual chosen for their outstanding fortitude and resolution or selflessness in the face of snow and ice conditions the like of which has not been seen for decades.

The one-off Cherry prize is named after the remarkable Apsley Cherry-Garrard, who worked on the Scott scientific expedition but who missed out on joining the last, fatal leg that led to the deaths of heroes Scott, Bowers, Oates, Wilson and Evans.

He wrote about the doomed but immortal 1910-1913 expedition in The Worst Journey the World, considered to be the greatest travel book every published.

Cherry-Garrard was in the team that found three frozen bodies of the polar party only 11 miles from shelter and with them the legendary selfless diary of Scott's that bore witness to his uncomplaining patriotic fellow sledgers who had been beaten to the pole only to be beaten by snow and wind on the dismal return trek.

Cherry-Garrard, a young bespectacled Hertfordshire land-owner, suffered depression for the rest of his life brought on by remorse as he considered that he might have saved his colleagues had he gone a few miles further south looking for them.

Atmospheric chemist Dr Susan Solomon, acclaimed for her discovery of the cause of the ozone hole, wrote the acclaimed book The Coldest March that charted for the first time the unprecedented freakish weather conditions that Scott and his men encountered as they fought their way back from the South Pole. 

The Royal Society of Chemistry is inviting accounts and pictures, if possible, of people who have fought their way through to, or from, their workplaces undeterred by deteriorating weather and transportation. 

Those who have stopped to aid others will get special consideration. 

Evidence demonstrating pluck, selflessness, and patience can be sent as emails, letters and images, still or moving. Closing date is 21 January 2010.

Contact and Further Information

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