10. Sep, 2014

'To seek, to strive, to find and not to yield!’

On March 7th 1876 in a cottage on Gower, not far from out home for waifs and strays, a remarkable baby was born. And although he lived for just 36 years, this brave young man made a huge footprint in our history.

     Edgar Evans was the son of Charles Evans, one of the famous ‘Cape Horner’s’ that sailed through the notorious Southern Ocean and the Cape Horn to get to South America. Is it no wonder that his son should follow in his footsteps and seek a job at sea.

     When Edgar was 11, the ill fated Helvetia foundered in Rhossili Bay not far from where he lived. Did this also fuel thoughts of adventures for Edgar Evans?

      By the age of 15, and to the disappointment of his parents, Edgar had joined the Navy. At 18, due to his excellence, he was transferred to the largest battleship in existence, the HMS Majestic. It was on this ship that he met Lieutenant Falcon Scott and Edgar was soon given command of the British Antarctic Expedition.  This was the beginning of a long friendship with Scott and the Antarctic which lasted until their terrible death in 1912, on their return from the South Pole.

      On a memorial tablet at Rhossili, on the Gower Peninsular, the last line from  Lord Tennyson’s poem (Ulysses) reads ‘To seek, to strive, to find and not to yield!’ Edgar Evans, a boy from Gower, did indeed, seek and found adventure and fought to the bitter and painful end.