LAWRENCE EDWARD GRACE OATES (1880-1912)
Bible, in English. -- The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments. Oxford, London & New York: O.U.P., [circa 1892]. 8° (17.5 x 12cm). 12 coloured maps. (Some old dampstaining.) Original limp morocco, g.e. (binding detached from contents, endpapers loosely inserted).
Provenance: Lawrence E.G.Oates (PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION FROM HIS MOTHER, dated 28 August 1892); Robin. G.Oates (nephew, by whom given to the present owner).
"MY SON BE WISE & MAKE MY HEART GLAD" is the poignant quotation from Proverbs (chapter 27, verse 11) chosen by 'Titus' Oates's mother to complete the fine presentation inscription in this Bible. William Edward Oates married Caroline Annie Buckton in 1877. Lawrence (their eldest son) was born in 1880, their second son Bryan in 1883. Bryan married in 1910, his third son Robin was born in 1919.
A FINE MEMENTO OF THE MOST HEROIC FIGURE IN THE HISTORY OF ANTARCTIC EXPLORATION. Oates, a Captain in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoon Guards stationed in India, volunteered for Scott's second Antarctic expedition and was granted leave from his regiment. He paid ¨£1000 for the privelege and, as a cavalry officer, was given responsibility for the ponies and dogs. He quickly impressed Scott and was selected as one of the ill-fated polar party. The story of Oates' death is the best known in the annals of polar exploration, but his body has never been found. The message on the cairn, erected near where he disappeared, makes it clear that he had more than fulfilled the wish expressed in the present Bible by his mother twenty years earlier. The legend begins 'Hereabouts died a very gallant gentleman.'