Talk:Lawrence Oates

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'Explorer' tag[edit]

Can we really class Oates as an explorer? The route that Scotts party took to the pole was different to Amundsens, so I guess technically they were treading untrodden land. However, Oates had no prior experience of ANY kind of expedition to discover new lands. Oates was a cavalry officer (And a fine one at that) who was taken for his funding and his expertise with horses, but an explorer? A little far-fetched I think.

I've kept the 'Explorer' description but for the vast majority of this mans adult life, he was a cavalry officer, and should be referred to as such, so I've added the fact in the opening paragraph, after his name.

Gareththejack (talk) 06:15, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Last words[edit]

This part of the article needed clearing up. I'm quite surprised that his last words were included in here as fact when they are anything but. I have added a whole new section for this and mentioned the fact that his last words are only alleged by Scott, in his diary.

They were not mentioned at all by Wilson in his diary, or in Wilson's letters to Oates' mother which Oates asked him to write, and are as such unverifiable. One would think that a sons last words would be among the first things a Mother would want to hear of, after learning of his passing. Especially given the gravitas of them in such a situation. Profound, to say the least. Given the fact that Wilson, unlike Scott, had no agenda (Who was pre-disposed to dramatising failure and over-emphasising self-sacrifice) he is a far more reliable source.

Whilst nobody will ever know what was said and what wasn't said on the fateful morning, his last words are still in dispute. I've cited an early work that first shed light on this (Huntfords 'The Last Place On Earth'), there have been many indications of it since if someone has the time to source them too. For now though, I feel it should be enough.

Gareththejack (talk) 15:51, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Only Captain Scott mentions Oates' last words. But only two people wrote about Oates' death, Scott and Wilson. The fact that Wilson did not mention his last words does not mean that Scott was wrong. Obviously Oates did say something. I do not agree that Scott's record of Oates' words is either unverified or contested. (talk) 20:10, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Of course it's contested, by virtue of the fact that Wilson does not mention them at all. If Wilson had known that Scott was to fabricate someones last words then he could have contested them, but only Scott was privy to his diary. Do you not think the last words of a son would be re-iterated to his Mother by his loyal expedition companion who was entrusted to write of his demise? Or at the very least recorded in that persons (Wilson's) diary? The way Scott tells it suggests that it was a momentous moment. At the very least Wilson would have relayed this to Oates' Mother.
Scott's record of Oates *supposed* last words is verified, in his diary, but this does not mean to say that they happened.
--Gareththejack (talk) 13:05, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

You suppose that if Wilson had not mentioned his last words to his mother that he did not say them. Those words would have revealed that Oates had comitted suicide. Scott saw it as a "noble sacrifice" would a mother have felt the same? Perhaps Wilson did not want to burden his friend's mother with the knowledge that he had died in a way that would have been aborhent to his religion. I think that places enough reasonable doubt upon the idea that Willson would have shared the words under any and every circumstance. Given that the quote is widely known it would be remiss not to mention it because of your assumptions. (talk) 19:56, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

some omitted facts[edit]

It's not true that the only account of Oates's death comes from Scott. Wilson also kept a diary. It does not mention the famous quote, "I am just going outside and may be some time".

Oates's body was never found, but his sleeping bag and theolodite was. This location was the basis of the monument to him.

Let Me See If I've Got This Straight[edit]

The only evidence for Oates' affair with an eleven year old girl is a family tradition without corroborating evidence? Am I the only one to see that as problematic?????

Please always sign your posts on talk pages, by adding 4 tildes (~) at the end. This identifies the user (IP address if unregistered), the date, and the time. Otherwise, all we have is is disembodied and anonymous words that might have been there since 2003 for all anyone knows. Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 09:43, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, we have the history, which shows the above comment was made over three edits:
sroc (talk) 05:48, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

His family is ancient? Everyone's family is ancient...[edit]

His family is ancient? Everyone's family is ancient... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:46, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Date of Death[edit]

The death of Oates is accuratly noted as 17 March at the top of the page. He died on his Birthday. In the text it is said that he walked out to his death on the 16th March. This is incorrect. I'm not going to cite sources. Either the top of the page is wrong or the text is wrong. He can't have died on 2 different days.

Lawrence Oates From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Lawrence Oates Born 17 March 1880 Putney, London, United Kingdom Died 17 March 1912 (aged 32) Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica Nationality British Other names Titus Oates Occupation Cavalry officer, explorer

Captain Lawrence Edward Grace "Titus" Oates (17 March 1880 – 17 March 1912)[1] was an English army officer, and later an Antarctic explorer, who died during the Terra Nova Expedition.

From memory Huntford recounted the story in his book, from Wilson's diary. Oates woke up on the morning of his birthday and told Wilson he wished that he had not. That he died on his birthday is verifiable without Scott being sure of the date. Also "On March 17th, which was Oates birthday, he walked out to his death in a noble endeavour to save his three companions." [1] If Scott was unsure of the date, then Evans must have used Wilson's diary as the source. (talk) 08:02, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

"One Ton Food Depot"[edit]

"Scott, Wilson and Bowers continued onwards for a further 20 miles (32 km) towards the 'One Ton' food depot that could save them."

There is a constant misunderstanding of the nature of the so called "one ton" depot. One ton depot did not contain a significant store of food.

The "One Ton" of stores which gave rise to the name were deposited there the year previously to the polar attempt. In order to save the ponies the extra work of dragging the stores over the bad surface of the Great Ice Barrier, Scott advanced over 2000 pounds of stores across the sea ice until it could be deposited on firmer ground. Scott also used the Motor sledges for the same purpose the next year, carrying fuel and pony fodder. The stores so left at One Ton Depot were then carried forward for use on the polar attempt. For example 12% (250 lbs) of the stores were dog biscuits. There was at least one sledge load of 530lbs of Pony fodder and another with quantity of parrafin.

Scott's first instructions to Lt Evans on reaching One Ton Depot was to "carry forward from one ton depot all man food and fuel in depot vis: 7 units (weekly 4 man ration) bagged provisions 4 boxes biscuit 8 gallons parafin." [2] This was why it was neccessary for One Ton Depot to be replenished from the base before the various Southern parties returned. When Cherry-Garrard arrived at One Ton Depot on March 4th 1912 there was 3 weeks sledging rations there which had been deposited in December according to Scott's instructions. He added an extra 2 weeks supply of food which contained more palatable luxuries for the men who had been on a mundane sledging diet for 5 months.

The idea that Scott died just 11 miles from a vast cache of food is part of the romantic myth that has built up around his death. There was enough food there to get him the 130 miles back to base, if he was able to withstand the worsening weather and the onset of frostbite, but no more than 5 weeks supply. At this point Scott and his 2 companions were making headway at no more than 5 miles a day, when they could actually travel. It is highly unlikely that even with enough food they would have been able to complete the distance before they succumbed to the falling temperatures and blizzards. It should be noted that the year previously at exactly the same time (March 18th) his men were experiencing exactly the same conditions and Scott declared an end to all sledging work in order to avoid the risk of severe frostbite. [3] (talk) 09:48, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Evans South with Scott Collins 1953 p. p. 240
  2. ^ Evans South with Scott Collins 1953 p. 152
  3. ^ Evans South with Scott Collins 1953 p. 104