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ANTARCTIC HEROES.

DECORATED BY THE KING. The King received at Buckingham Palaco the other morning between forty and fifty officers and men of the Torra Nova, the scientists attached to the Antarctic expedition, and the lady relatives of those who perished in the ice-bound South, in order to decorate them with the Antarctic medal specially struck by order of His Majesty to commemorate Captain Scott's last journey. The men (states the London correspondent of the Auckland "Star"), most of whom were in blue-jacket uniform, marched from Caxton Hall to the Palace, and were enthusiastically cheered all along the line of route, but most of the officers and the ladies drove to the Palace, and so escaped the plaudits of the people. The ladies were first admitted to the Royal presence, and were presented to the King by Prince Louis of Battenburg. They were: Lady Scott, Mrs Wilson, Mrs. Bowers, Mrs. Edgar Evans, and Mrs. Brissenden. Mrs. Oates was to have received Captain Oates' medal, but being medically unfit to attend, she deputed Commander Evans to accept it on her behalf. His Majesty personally pinned on the medal in each case, shook hands with each of the ladies, and said a fewwords of sympathy to them in the loss of their bVave relatives. The ladies having withdrawn, the male recipients of the decoration were admitted. A hook had been previously attached to the breast of each man's izniform or coat (the scientists were in civilian dress), and the King personally placed the medals in position, and shook hands with each in turn. The decoration bestowed is officially known as the "Polar Medal." The medal and clasp were in silvor for those who have served more than one Polar voyage, and in bronze for those who had made one voyage only. In the case of those who possessed already the previous Polar medal, the clasp alone was given on this occasion. Two men of the crew—Chief Stoker Wm. Lashley and Petty Officer Thomas Crean—received an additional decoration—the Albert Medal—for gallantry in saving or attempting to save life. As is usual in the case of the bestowal of this medal, a brief account of the deedjfor which it was awarded was read to the King by Prince Louis of Battenburg. This was the story of the deed that won for Crean and Lashley the Albert Medal:— At the, end of a journey of. 1,500 miles on foot, the final supporting party to the lato Captain Scott's expedition towards the South Pole, consisting of Lieutenant Evans, Chief Stoker Lashley, and Petty Officer Crean, were 238' miles from the base, when Lieutenant Evans was found to bo suffering from scurvy. When 151 miles from the base 3 he was unable to stand without support on his ski sticks, and after struggling onward on skis in great pain for four days, during which Lashley and Crean dragged their slodgo 53 miles, he collapsed, and was unable to proceed further. Lieutenant Evans requested his two comrades to leave him, urging that unless they did so, three lives would foe lost instead of one. This, however, they refused to do, and insisted on carrying him forward on the sledge. Lashley and Crean dragged Lieutenant Evans on the sledge for four days, pulling for thirteen hours a day, until a point was reached 34 miles from a refuge hut, where it was possible assistance might bo obtained. During the following twelve hours, however, snow fell incessantly, and it was found impossible to proceed further with the sledge. As the party had now only sufficient food for three more meals, and both Lashley and Crean were becoming weaker daily, it was decided that they should separate, and that Crean should endeavour to walk to the refuge hut, while Lashley stayed to nurse Lieutenant Evans. After a march of eighteen hours in soft snow, Crean made his way to the hut, arriving completely exhausted. Fortunately, Surgeon Atkinson was at the hut with two dog teams and the dog attendant, and his party effected a rescue of Lashley and Lieutenant Evans, who, but for the gallant conduct throughout of his two companions, would have iiadoubtcdly lost his life.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TC19130922.2.48

Bibliographic details

ANTARCTIC HEROES., Colonist, Volume LV, Issue 13824, 22 September 1913

Word Count
696

ANTARCTIC HEROES. Colonist, Volume LV, Issue 13824, 22 September 1913

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