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British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913
British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913

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British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913

Apsley George Benet CHERRY-GARRARD (1886-1959). - A stitched canvas sledging harness, [1910], 134cm. around the 'waist', belt 14cm. wide narrowing to 8.5cm., with calf, iron and copper attachments, jute hauling-rope (230cm. long) attached. (Wear to interior surfaces of harness)

Provenance: Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959, the canvas belt with 'A.C-G' painted in red); by descent (sale: Garrod, Turner & son, Ipswich 17 October 1969, lot 327 (part) [one of 17 lots sold 'for the benefit of the Aldeburgh Festival Snape Concert Hall Rebuilding Fund']).

Cherry-Garrard was worked hard on Scott's expedition, sledging on most of the key journeys through 1911 and 1912. He was a member of the Depot Journey in the first autumn, in 1911, with Wilson and Bowers on the Winter Journey and a member of the First Return Party (which supported Scott to the top of the Beardmore Glacier) on the Polar Journey at the end of 1911. He then led the Dog Journey to One Ton Camp in February-March 1912 (hoping to greet the returning Polar Party) and finally as a member of the Search Party which found the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers on the Barrier in November 1912.

His most celebrated sledging feat was the Winter Journey with Wilson and Bowers, 27 June - 1 August 1911:

'in these days we were never less than four hours from the moment when Bill cried 'Time to get up' to the time when we got into our harness. It took two men to get one man into his harness, and was all they could do, for the canvas was frozen and our clothes were frozen until sometimes not even two men could bend them into the required shape (5 July)...That night the temperature was -75°; at breakfast -70°; at noon nearly -77°. The day lives in my memory as that on which I found out that records are not worth making. The thermometer as swung by Bowers registered -77°, which is 109½ degrees of frost, and is I suppose as cold as anyone will want to endure in darkness and iced-up gear and clothes ... In the pauses of our marching we halted in our harness, the ropes of which lay slack in the powdery snow. We stood panting with our backs against the mountainous mass of frozen gear which was our load ... our breath crackled as it froze. There was no unnecessary conversation: I don't know why our tongues never got frozen, but all my teeth, the nerves of which had been killed, split to pieces.' (A.G.B. Cherry-Garrard, op. cit., pp.242.298)
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