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Henry "Birdie" Bowers

OLogy Series
ologist
card
321

Henry "Birdie" Bowers

OLogy Series
ologist

Henry Bowers was no stranger to the sea. He had sailed around the world 5 times. But when he joined Robert Scott's famous expedition to Antarctica, it was his first polar journey. Bowers proved to be fearless and hard working. He was a jack-of-all trades who did everything from backbreaking work to scientific research. Bowers was part of the5-man team that reached the South Pole in 1912. And like the others, he died on the return trip.

For the final stretch to the South Pole, the British team's heavy sleds were pulled by:

ponies

dogs

men

Are you right?

Correct!

The men wore harnesses and pulled the sleds themselves. "Man-hauling" was a backbreaking task. Bowers said, "I have never pulled so hard, or so nearly crushed my inside into my backbone by the everlasting jerking with all my strength on the canvas bound round my unfortunate tummy."

When he was nearing the South Pole, Bowers noticed something in the distance. The "black speck" turned out to be:

a colony of emperor penguins

a giant rock

a tattered flag

Are you right?

Correct!

The Norwegian team planted the flag when they reached the South Pole a month earlier. The British team's dreams of reaching the Pole first were shattered.

Henry Bowers, explorer

Bowers proves a perfect treasure. There is not a single case he does not know or a single article of any sort which he cannot put his hand on at once.

Henry Bowers, explorer

The Antarctic atmosphere is so clear and sharp that the very air seems permeated with vitality.

When Bowers left the base camp with 15 other explorers, he was not part of the smaller polar team that would head for the Pole.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Ten weeks into the trek, Scott added Bowers. He was part of a support party and had planned to turn back. The 4-man polar team became 5, with less food for the journey.

On their return from the South Pole, Scott's team hauled 30 pounds of coal, limestone, fossils, and quartz.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Even though the team died on their return trip, they never abandoned these fossil samples. This heroic act showed how important science was to the expedition.

Nearly 100 years after the expedition, the hut that Scott's team set up as a home base still stands.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Antarctica's dry, cold air has preserved the hut. It still looks a lot like it did in 1912! Today, this and other huts from the early explorations are protected as monuments.

Lived: 1883-1912
Nickname: Birdie
Hometown: Bedford, United Kingdom
Job: Lieutenant
Known for: Part of Scott's famous expedition that reached the South Pole in 1912.
Cool Fact: Bowers was tireless and loyal. He was also known for his optimism and cheerfulness.
Cool Fact: In the Antarctic winter, Bowers was part of a 3-man team that went on a 5-week, 225-km (140-mi) expedition to collect penguin eggs!

Image credits: Scott Polar Research Institute; Henry Bowers; Henry Bowers.