We know that Scott was the last of his men to die and before he perished he wrote a few letters to friends and family back home. One of those letters was to Sir Francis Bridgeman, one of his former commanding officers. Last week, the contents of that letter were revealed to the public for the first time. It read:
To Sir Francis Bridgeman
My Dear Sir Francis
I fear we have shipped up – a close shave. I am writing a few letters which I hope will be delivered some day. I want to thank you for the friendship you gave me of late years, and to tell you how extraordinarily pleasant I found it to serve under you. I want to tell you that I was not too old for this job. It was the younger men that went under first. Finally I want you to secure a competence for my widow and boy. I leave them very ill provided for, but feel that the country ought not to neglect them. After all we are setting a good example to our countrymen, if not by getting into a tight place, by facing it like men when we were there. We could have come through had we neglected the sick.
Good-bye and good-bye to dear Lady Bridgeman
Would we all have the strength and courage to face our mortality if placed in the same circumstances? I'd like to think so, but I'm not sure that would be the case. These glimpses into Scott's personality help to keep his legend and spirit alive more than a century after his death.