Alfred Cheetham. Cheetham was boatswain on the voyage but is remarkable in the fact that he went on both expeditions led by Scott and both led by Shackleton. This remarkable story has such a sad end as he was killed right at the end of world war 1 when his boat was torpedoed.
The Terra Nova. Image from Wikimedia Commons
November 20th 1911. The surface started off a little better, harder underfoot, and this made Scott more hopeful. The improvement did not last long. The ‘crocks’ still go on and Jehu not at the end just yet although Chinaman is struggling. The dogs also began to find the surface heavy going and Scott decides to relieve them of some of the forage they are carrying. They are still marching at night with the temperature at -14. The horses rest well behind the snow wall and Scott believes they are refreshed by the sun and warmer daytime temperatures. Scott starts to examine all the horses not just the regular journal entries such as Jehu and Chinaman. Some, such as Victor, are losing condition while others seem stronger as with Nobby. Scott confident in them today.
Commentary. Scott is putting time and considerations into assessing the horses. He is looking at their performance and potential. Who is fit to perform the task ahead, what impact will the performance of the horses have on the task in hand, what action needs to be taken and he accepts fully his responsibility as a leader. He will shortly need to undertake the same process with the men. Previously he recorded the thoughts of others in the team as to the state of the horses and so it is clear he is gathering opinion. Scott is managing his resources and adapting his plan. His mood swings maybe a sign of the pressure he must have been under, he took he responsibility as leader seriously. The pressure must have been increased as he started to release that they were falling behind the progress of Shackleton’s previous trip by several days. Days had been lost already.