Scott 100 Day 31 1st December 1911 : One last disobedience from Christopher

Cecil Meares. Meares is leading the dog team at this time, these are dogs he purchased in Siberia where he also acquired the horses. He then transported them to New Zealand to meet up with the main expedition. Meares had travelled a great deal prior to the Terra Nova expedition and fought in the Boer War as well as taking part in the First World War by joining the Royal Flying Corp.

Scotts Journal December 1st 1911. The horses are now struggling and going down hill quite quickly but may still outlast the supplies the expedition has for them. Scott makes a comment that ‘against some opinion Christopher must go’ and he is shot that day. Christopher ends his journey with ‘less regret’ by the group for him than perhaps for the others as he has been such trouble. They leave a depot and are now down to 7 horses and 3 more days should see them through. Snow shoes were tried on Nobby and these were successful for a while and Scott laments that the horses would not accept the shoes from the beginning. Scott and the team can see land ahead and he wonders what the range is made of.

Commentary. The scene on the Ice Barrier must have started to look horrific. Men and horses who have now been travelled for a month and on days like today the remains of slaughtered horses to contend with. Even more so with Christopher as he moved just as Oates shot and the injured animal needed to be caught and finished off. Once the horses had been shot Meares and Demetri Gerof would spend the time carving them up. As the dog drivers they had extra time to do this as they were quicker in their travelling. There are sub conversations taking place in the team at this point. This is all normal team activity and some discussion, and criticism, of the leader is part of all team dynamics. The level, intensity and purpose of this activity is the interesting point. How much of it is normal behaviour and how much, as Huntford believes, is due to Scotts arrogance and obsession? Conversations about Amundsen are off Scotts agenda, not mentioned in the journal and all discussion on this topic appears to be in secret. Bowers can see how well the dogs in their team are doing and notes that if Amundsen has 120 better prepared and driven dogs then he stood a great chance of success.

About hutpoint

Interested in leadership, teamwork, resistance, perseverence and change. A former senior nurse dedicated to learning from and sharing with other flawed humans.
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