Monday, November 10, 2008

Antarctic Letter

This is a rather lovely thing that I am currently selling. A letter from Edward (Teddy) Evans, second in command of Captain Scotts fateful 1910 Antarctic Expedition. You should be able to read the letter by enlarging the photos here but what I like about it particularly is that, in offering this young chap a post as Able Seaman on the Terra Nova, Evans provides a list of things that will be provided and a list of thing, clothing and so on, that he must provide himself and the whole exercise reminds me of something like a school trip.

The particularly nice thing is the PS. The letter was to the son of William Schermuly who was the inventor of the Schermuly Rocket or the Schermuly Line, basically a safe and easy way to fire a rocket with a line attatched from a foundering ship to the shore, a life-saving device. The Schermuly device was fitted, free of charge, to the Terra Nova and we know they were on the ship when it sailed a few months after this letter was written. However, it's not clear to me, maybe to someone more knowledgable, that Schermuly junior was onboard with them. He is not listed in any crew manifest I can find so presumably something happened in the months before the Terra Nova left Cardiff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

William was my grandfather's older brother. Legend goes that he did sail with Scott but got off the Terra Nova in Gibralter after an argument over the material that the buckets were made of (they were tin and he said they should be wooden). William was later killed in WW1 in 1917 in Salonica.

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