The expedition was launched with a great fanfare on 15th June 1910, but as any schoolboy will tell you, they weren’t alone in their desire to reach the pole. As Scott left London, the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, was also hoping to be the first to the pole.
Unfortunately, for Scott, the trip was to end in the ultimate defeat. After successfully reaching the geographic South Pole on 17th January 1912, the Terra Nova realised that their competitors had also achieved similar success, but it was 34 days prior to their arrival.
The deflated party began their 800 mile journey home two days later in what was obviously going to be a dreadfully tiring and monotonous return journey, in what turned out to be beset by disaster after disaster. They started to believe that their dog teams had abandoned them, the weather was deteriorating and they were feeling the effects of hunger and exhaustion. Scott and his men made their final camp the day after Oates had muttered the famous words “I am just going outside and may be sometime.” A fierce blizzard prevented any further progress and as their supplies ran out, the Terra Nova expedition came to a close for Robert Falcon Scott.
Whilst Egerton may be less known today than Scott, his status speaks for itself. He held Commander-in-Chief roles of the likes of the HMS Majestic, Cape of Good Hope Station, and Plymouth Command. He also went on to receive the award of Knight Commander, Order of Bath, cementing his name in history. He passed away at the grand old age of 87 in 1940, 24 years after retirement.