VIA: The History of Wales

On this day 1912 Edgar Evans perished on the return journey from the South Pole.

Edgar Evans was born at Middleton on Gower on the 7th March 1876. He attended St. Helen's Boys School before joining the Royal Navy in 1891, at the age of fifteen. His first experience of polar exploration was between 1901 and 1904 when he joined the National Antarctic Expedition whose brief was to seek out mineral wealth for the British Empire. The officer in command, Captain Scott, was so impressed with Evans' ingenuity, strength and courage that he invited him to join the British Antarctic Expedition's attempt to reach the South Pole (1910-13).

The five-man team reached the Pole on 17th January, 1912 only to discover that Amundsen had beaten them to it. Demoralised and suffering from the effects of a poor diet and inadequate equipment, the team perished on the return journey, Edgar Evans was the first to die. His widow, Lois, had a plaque placed, in his memory, in the church at Rhossili and Evans is also remembered at the naval shore establishment on Whale Island, Portsmouth, where the Edgar Evans Building was the first to be named after a petty officer rather than an admiral.