New exhibition opens celebrating 100 years of polar exploration


David Hempleman-Adams
David Hempleman-Adams

By Cara Sulieman

AN EXHIBITION celebrating the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott’s journey to the South Pole opens tomorrow (Fri).

Photographs on display include those taken by Herbert George Ponting during the tragic expedition in 1910-13 and Frank Hurley’s snaps from Ernest Shackleton’s expedition in 1914-16.

Also on display are the flag given to Scott by Queen Alexandra in 1910, the Union Jack given to Shackleton by King George V and books from the Royal Library, including a copy of ‘Aurora Australis’, the first book to be printed in the Antarctic.

The show, being held at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, was opened by explorer David Hempleman-Adams who was the first man to reach the four geographical and magnetic poles.

All died

Captain Scott set sail for Antarctica on his ship Terra Nova in 1910 with the aim of becoming the first man to reach the South Pole.

But in March 1912 – after Ponting had left the expedition – all remaining team members died on their journey back from the pole.

Herbert Ponting captured around 2,000 glass plate negatives in his time on the trip, including images of the landscape, crew, and wildlife.

Australian photographer Frank Hurley joined Ernest Shackleton on his expedition to the South Pole in 1914.

In October 1915 the ship started to sink after getting trapped in the ice.

Royal Photographic Collection

Despite losing most of his equipment in the wreck, he managed to salvage 120 plates and a small pocket camera which he used to document the rest of the trip – despite the low quality of the images.

The photographs were all presented to King George V and form part of the Royal Photographic Collection.

The exhibition runs in the Queen’s Gallery in Holyrood Palace from October 2 until April 11 2010.

See more of our pictures at our Flickr site and videos at our dedicated channel,  Deadline TV.