Captain Robert Falcon Scott was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer who explored the Antarctic region with the aim of being the first person to reach the South Pole. His first expedition in 1901–1904 had to be halted before they achieved their destination and so Scott returned in 1910 to try for a second time. On the 15th January 1912, Scott and his companions camped, knowing that this time they would be successful. The following morning they set off towards the pole. In Scott’s journal, he described what happened – as they approached, one of the officers spotted a black shape in the distance. ‘We marched on and found that it was a black flag tied to a sledge bearer; nearby with the remains of a camp; sledge tracks and ski tracks coming and going and a clear trace of dog paws -many dogs. This told us the whole story. The Norwegians had forestalled us and are first at the pole’. A Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it.
The expedition was to end in disaster and Scott and his colleagues were to die of exposure before they could meet up with the rest of the expedition and make their way back to the coast. Following the news of his death, Scott became a celebrated hero, a status reflected by the many memorials erected across the UK.