Prince William – HRH The Duke of Cambridge – has sent a special message to the two teams of British soldiers who completed their centennial recreation of Scott and Amundsen’s epic trek to the South Pole for charity this week.
“I count it a great privilege, as Patron of the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race, to welcome you home. What you have achieved, and the honour you have done to Amundsen and Scott and the other great men of history who accompanied them, is beyond all praise.
“The fire in heart and soul that drives man to push the boundaries of what is physically possible and, in so doing, to lay bare the extraordinary strengths and depths of our humanity, is alive in the breast of every one of you today, as it was with those intrepid men a century ago.
“Hearing of your exploits as they unfolded – and their resonance with 1912 – lent your expedition an almost mythic aura: Team Amundsen as the first people to tackle unsupported the Axel Heiberg Glacier since Amundsen himself passed that way; Team Scott struck by ferocious blizzards in precisely the same spot as were Robert Falcon Scott and his comrades; that same team reaching the South Pole a hundred years to the day as their forebears; and, as if that weren’t enough, with you all the way went the Polar Medal of the valiant Captain Oates. It reads like a heroic epic, like a Norse saga of the frozen South.
“As a serving Officer, it makes me so proud that, with the staunch support of The Royal British Legion, it is British soldiers who have achieved this great feat. Four out of the five men who went forward as Scott’s final party were Servicemen too. How proud they would be too of what you have achieved in their memory."