CHARLES SEYMOUR WRIGHT (1887-1975)
Two autograph letters signed, one carbon copy diary letter with autograph signature, and two typed letters signed to Alfo E. Wright, Ross Island, Cape Evans, London and Caius College, Cambridge (2), 4 March 1912 - 19 November 1913, together 3 pages, 4to, autograph, 14 pages, 4to, carbon copy, and 4 pages, 4to, typescript (9 pages of carbon faint but legible, two losses to last leaf of carbon letter, with loss of a few words); together with a carbon copy of his autograph journal, 29 November 1910 - 3 January 1911, 34 pages, 8vo (faint).
Wright's first letter is a hurried summary of mixed news from Scott's last expedition: Lt Campbell's party has been marooned at Evans Coves and 'will probably have not too pleasant a time', 'Pole a dead cert, -- last party should be back in between one & two weeks'; Wright himself has had to take over the meteorological and magnetic work, so 'my sledging days are over. No more Barrier for me in any case -- too much naval this expedition to suit me'. A postscript in New Zealand on 15 February 1913 adds 'For heaven's sake, keep any expedn information to yourself, as the Censorship is still on'. The long carbon copy letter covers the polar winter from 6 May to 23 October 1912, beginning at a low point: Scott's polar party has not returned; Cherry Garrard has failed to locate them and returned 'pretty well broken up by cold worry &c'; 'the scientific work has had to go to blazes'. The letter continues with a long and painful account of the trials of autumn sledging, and a description of the excitements and ennuis of the polar winter -- the former provided by the explosion of an oil lamp blowing apart and catching fire, and by the traditional midwinter festivities; Wright ends with preparations for the sledging expedition which would discover the bodies of Scott and his polar party. Later letters comment on job prospects, and on collecting his polar medal from George V ('distinctly the most nervous person there'). The carbon copy journal covers the voyage of the Terra Nova from New Zealand to a point about 150 miles off Cape Crozier.
Charles Wright was the Terra Nova's physicist, and the only Canadian on the expedition. He was in the first supporting party for the polar trip, and was navigator in the group which spotted Scott's tent in November 1912. He served from 1919 to 1947 in the scientific staff of the Admiralty, becoming its head. (6)