EDWARD “TEDDY” EVANS
“It was a sight that one could never forget…”
Teddy Evans always had an eye for danger: expelled from school for truancy, he nevertheless managed to finally complete sufficient schooling to grace the Mercantile Marine training ship HMS Worcester.
In 1902 he had risen up the ranks as Lieutenant and in the same year served as second officer of the Morning, the relief vessel of Scott’s first Antarctic expedition.
In a twist to the plot, Scott actually offered Evans the position with his second expedition as an underhand way of persuading him to drop his own competing expedition plans. To add to the tension, Scott continued to regard Evans as a rival and the relationship between the two was uneasy.
In Antarctica, Evans was initially in charge of Scott’s motor-sledge party. After the sledges broke down, he continued south in the last supporting party to accompany Scott to the pole. After being rejected by Scott and failing to make the final push to the South Pole, Evans narrowly escaped death when he turned back on 4 January 1912. He didn’t manage to escape scurvy, however, and could no longer stand with 100 miles left to go.
At this point there weren’t enough supplies to last Evans and his two remaining companions (Tom Crean and William Lashly) for the remaining 35 miles. Crean volunteered to go alone to fetch help and on February 19, after walking 18 hours non-stop he found it.
Due to illness, Evans was sent home in the Terra Nova on March 1912, but he was still determined, and returned the following year to collect the ship’s survivors.
In later years, Evans swapped Antarctic adventures for military dedication during both World Wars. However, that’s not to say the pull of the Pole entirely left his consciousness. Evans wrote several books about his experiences in Antarctica: South With Scott (1921), British Polar Explorers )1944) and The Desolate Antarctic (1950).