January 18, 1912 Robert F. Scott reached the South Pole.
Unfortunately, Amundsen had already been there and left a flag marking
the spot. Terribly discouraged after a tortuous journey all members
perish on the return trip.
1901 Ernest Shakleton sailed on his first expedition to Antarctica
with Robert Falcon Scott. Six years later he led an expedition that
reached 88°23´, 97 miles from the South Pole.
he led the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The plan was to cross
Antarctica from Vahsel Bay to the Ross Sea. Unfortunately their ship
the Endurance was caught in the ice and crushed. The party was forced
to camp on the ice until they could launch their boats. They reached
Elephant Island in April 1916. Shakleton and five others sailed for
South Georgia in an open boat. They made a landfall on South Georgia
and crossed the island on foot. They got help and finally rescued
The map on the stamp below shows their route across
South Georgia from “Peggotty Camp” across Ridge 2493 to the Stromness
Whaling Station. It is based on a British Antarctic Survey map. Three
of the men who made the trek are commemorated on stamps showing the
beginning, the ridge and the goal of their effort.
6, 1912 Lieutenant Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis, Dr. Xavier Guillaume
Mertz and Dr. Douglas Mawson left the camp where they had lived for
eleven months, and began their journey of exploration. Only one of
them would return alive.
Lieutenant Ninnis died in December when he fell through
a snow bridge into a crevasse, together with his sled, dogs and
supplies. Without food Mertz and Mawson immediately turned around and
headed back. All they had to eat was their dogs. Because of the toxic
concentration of vitamin A in the dogs’ livers Mawson and Mertz were
soon suffering from vitamin A poisoning. Mertz died in January, and
Mawson struggled on. He arrived at the Main Base early in February
1913. The ship that was supposed to be waiting for them had already
left, so Mawson and other members of the party who had waited for him
and his colleagues had to wait until the end of 1913 for the ship to
return so they could leave the Antarctic continent.
Mawson slowly regained his health and made other
expeditions in Antarctica. He added more new territory to the maps of
the continent than any other man of his time.