Title: ‘Titus’ Oates; Odd Man Out
August 2004 28 X 39 INCHES
Lawrence Edward Grace Oates: ("Titus", "Soldier")
1889-1912, British Explorer, Soldier, Cavalry Officer, Horseman.
" ...I am just going outside, and may be sometime…"
According to Captain Scott’s diary, these famous
last words were spoken by
Oates on his birthday, March 17th , 1912, as he left their tent in the
a raging blizzard and a – 40 degree temperature. His feet hopelessly
frostbitten and searing with pain, he chose a death of honor rather than
remaining three in their race for survival. They all died a short time
Oates suffered from dyslexia and was dominated by his
mother through out his
life. She blamed Scott for his death and strongly opposed the accepted
of events. She would not allow his diaries to be seen and ordered their
destruction on her death.
An upper class English gentleman, he was wounded in
South Africa in the Boer
War. He was also stationed in India and Ireland where he became a skilled
horseman. Oates was a restless man. In 1910 he paid £1000. for the
joining the Scott expedition. Always the outsider, one can see how he
apart from the others in a tortured and despondent looking photograph
at the South Pole. He never knew why he was chosen for the final assault,
since he did not like Scott and constantly clashed with his methods. His
tell a very different story than what is generally known about Scott and
trek to the South Pole.