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Location: Masterton, New Zealand

I survived school history despite the best efforts of the education system to bore me to death. Many years later, I discovered Treaties, dates, the movement of nations, are mere context. The fascination is in the details.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This excerpt from 'Scott of the Antarctic' by Reginald Pound (1966) gives another perspective on Terra Nova's departure (see last post). Scott had recorded in his journal on 28th that his second-in-command, Lieutenant Edward Evans, "was 'excited by vague and wild grievances ... The cause of it all is not difficult to guess', an oblique reference to Lieutenat Evans's wife, who dreaded the coming separation."
Kathleen Scott, who thought Evans was "a rum little beggar" wrote in her diary - "All went well, till on the wharf we met the Evanses, both in a tearful condition. Apparently she had been working him up to insurrection and a volley of childish complaints was let fly. .... Their tantrums spoilt the day and prevented us from being happy. If ever Con [Scott] has another expedition, the wives must be chosen more carefully than the men - better still, have none. ....
I decided not to say good-bye to my man ... because I didn't want anyone to see him look sad. On the bridge of the tug, Mrs Evans looked ghastly white and said she wanted to have hysterics. Mrs Wilson was plucky and good.' When Kathleen Scott 'tried to muster them for tea' on shore, 'Mrs Wilson sat sphinx-like on the wharf."
Edward Evans later became a war hero and ended his carreer as Admiral Lord Mountevans.

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