Captain Lawrence Oates Remembered

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Sun 4 Mar 2012 02:13

Captain Lawrence Oates Remembered

Date: 3 March 2012


You may remember that what triggered the timing of my adventure to Antarctica this year was the centenary of the Scott Expedition and the tragic death of Scott himself together with his Polar party. Amongst them was Captain Lawrence Oates who sacrificed his life to help save his comrades. Oates was a member of the Royal Cruising Club, as am I along with two other members of my Antarctic crew, Richard and Venetia. When at the ex-British scientific base at Port Lockroy in Antarctica we presented a tribute to Oates on behalf of the RCC which is now on public display there.


In preparation for this event, I did a lot of research into Oates, his passion for adventurous sailing, and his yacht Saunterer . Last summer I went for a memorable sail on Saunterer in the Solent in half a gale of wind which Oates would have enjoyed.


A couple of days ago, the RCC held their Annual Dinner. The guest speaker was Major General Patrick Cordingley, co-author of what I consider to be Oates best biography. I had heard Patrick speak about Oates at a lecture he gave last year and I knew that the RCC could look forward to an interesting and entertaining talk.


Given my involvement I was particularly sorry not to be able to attend, but my Antarctic crew: Richard, Venetia, Peter and Ewan were all there, together with Linda and John who had an experience every bit as challenging in helping me get the boat south from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia via the Falkland Islands and Staten Island.


Yesterday morning I got emails, one from Nigel Wollen, our Commodore, telling me that the evening had been a great success. I’m delighted that such a brave man has been remembered in this way in the month one hundred years ago that he met his heroic death, and I feel honoured to have played a part in that remembrance.