SCOTT & The South-Pole

William Lashly ("Lash")
(18671940)

The son of a farm worker, Lashly was born at a village near Portsmouth, England. Lashly was with Scott on both of his expeditions: Discovery (19011904) and The Terra Nova (19101912). With Scott on the beginning legs of the trek to the south-pole, but he was not in the last leg.

At the time he joined Scott on his first expedition in 1901, he was a 33-year-old leading stoker in the Royal Navy. He evidently proved himself as he was invited to go with Scott on the second expedition in 1901. The article in Wikipedia described Lashly as a "teetotaller and non-smoker, he was quiet and strong, good-natured, dependable and ... the best man far and away in the ship."

"[December the 1st, 1910: On the way from New Zealand to Antarctic, at the very first of the voyage, in the midst of a bad storm] ... the engine-room became the centre of interest. The water gained in spite of every effort. Lashley, to his neck in rushing water, stuck gamely to the work of clearing suctions. For a time, with donkey engine and bilge pump sucking, it looked as though the water would be got under; but the hope was short-lived: five minutes of pumping invariably led to the same result -- a general choking of the pumps." (Journal Entry, Scott's Last Exped.)
...
Lashly is ... hard working to the limit, quiet, abstemious, and determined." (Scott)
On January 4th, 1912, Lashly was part of the three man party (with "Teddy" Evans and Tom Crean), the last support party, to be sent back by Scott when they were but 167 miles from the pole and 450 miles from home base. They had a harrying trip back (see outline in sketch on Crean) and did not, almost, make it.

After his Antarctic experiences, Lashly served aboard British naval ships in World War I. Later he served as a customs officer at Cardiff.

In 1969, Lashly's diaries were published. These diaries give us a "fascinating insight into both the Discovery and the Terra Nova expeditions from the perspective of one of the men rather than the more common accounts published by officers."

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Peter Landry
2013