Scott 100 Day 63 2nd January 1912 : Scurvy

Scurvy. Scott’s journal has plenty of criticism of Teddy Evan’s but with little explanation or understanding of the conditions or the make up of the man. In Huntford’s book the relationship between Evan’s and Scott is extremely poor. The pace of the two sledges is not healthy competition but harmful rivalry. The criticism of Teddy Evan’s is more significant, it highlights a Scott anxious of Evan’s and his role and aware that an understanding exists between them that because Evan’s gave up his own expedition he would be in the pole party. Huntford believes that at this stage of the march Scott is trying to break Evan’s and this is why the skis were left yesterday. Scott never explains his decision to have the second team leave their skis. Scott pushed himself hard and expected the same from his men, even though the doctors questioned his ‘hysteric pace’. Teddy Evan’s and Lashly have been manhauling longer than anyone else, they have been pulling sledges since the motorised tractors failed while the others still had horses to bear the load. It maybe that at this time Evan’s and Lashly are starting to weaken and may be suffering from Scurvy. Scott was aware of the risk of scurvy and would kill seals to ensure men had fresh meat and they also had fruit and vegetables in large quantities at Cape Evan’s. But how much and of what type of food was still not fully understood, although they knew enough to take on fresh meat when they could. Scurvy slows down the healing process and can break down scar tissue, other signs include the loss of fingernails – something PO Evan’s will experience within the next few days and both Oates and PO Evan’s will struggle with injuries not healing.

Scott’s Journal January 2nd 1912. The foot party continue to start earlier and Scott’s team catch them with ease, ‘its been a plod for the foot people and pretty easy going for us and we have covered 13 miles’. The weather is overcast with a light wind and sastrugi from the south east, Scott hopes this is not a sign of worse weather orjomkiuk surface ahead. They see the first sign of life in a long time today as a Gull flew over their position. Scott is amazed to see such wildlife this far from the coast.

Teddy Evans became am Admiral in the Rotal Navy

Picture from Wikimedia Commons

File:Edward Evans UK2117.JPG

Commentary. Scott’s journal criticises Teddy Evan’s while Evan’s is polite and calm to beyond belief in his book. But Evan’s wrote his a few years after the event as a survivor and much of the criticism of Evan’s was not published in those early editions of Scott’s journal. Teddy Evan’s gave up leading his own trip to the Antarctic to be second in command to Scott and yet his role and relationship with Scott do not indicate the importance and relevance of that post. Unlike a very clear relationship between Shackleton and his number 2, Frank Wild. To all it appears as if Wilson is the second in command and the person Scott’s trusts and confides in. Wilson served a perfect role for Scott as he was liked and respected by all and could have conversations with the men that Scott could not, he was welcome in both tents. I am still not sure if Wilson needed to be courageous with Scott and tell him more of what was really going on with the men. Scott saw the immediate moment of interactions, he saw men respectful, hard working and committed to the task. He did not see tension, weakening physical condition, disagreement or even that men were hiding injuries. The relationship between a leader and his deputy can be crucial and can bring out hidden team issues, communicate in a low key way and importantly offer the truth to leaders and followers. A leader should recruit a deputy who has the courage to tell the truth and the leader needs the courage to listen.

About hutpoint

Interested in leadership, teamwork, resistance, perseverence and change. A former senior nurse dedicated to learning from and sharing with other flawed humans.
This entry was posted in bowers, evans, oates, scott, wilson and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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