Birdie Bowers

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More About This Title Birdie Bowers


The story of Birdie Bowers—one of the four men who reached the South Pole with Captain Scott—and his indefatigable spirit


Described by Captain Scott as "a marvel" and "indomitable to the last," Henry "Birdie" Bowers (1883–1912) realized his life's ambition when he was selected for Scott's Terra Nova Expedition to the Antarctic, yet he was only asked to join the team that would actually reach the South Pole at the last moment. He died on the return journey, caught in a blizzard with Scott and Edward Wilson. Born to a seafaring father and adventurous mother on the Firth of Clyde, Bowers' boyhood obsession with travel and adventure took him round the world several times and his life appears, in hindsight, to have been a ceaseless preparation for his ultimate Antarctic challenge. Only 5'4", he was nevertheless a bundle of energy: knowledgeable, determined, and the ultimate team player. This new biography, drawing on Bowers' letters and journals and previously neglected material, sheds new light on his achievements and tells the full story of the hardy naval officer who could always lift his companions' spirits.


Anne Strathie is a freelance writer and researcher.