A Scott plaque at Chatham, Kent.

Episodes: 3 & 31. Site Number: 129. Date Posted: 16 April 1996. Location: St. George's Church (now St. George's Centre), Chatham Maritime, Gillingham, Kent, England. Type: Plaque.

St. George's Center exterior St. George's Center interior In the west end of St. George's Church, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham, Kent, is a brass tablet bearing an inscription surmounted by a picture of Robert Scott's ship the Terra Nova.
      On March 30, 1914, it was reported in an unidentified newspaper that ". . .yesterday, a large congregation, composed chiefly of officers and men of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, witnessed the unveiling of a memorial to Captain Scott and the Southern party of the British Antarctic Expedition. The memorial, which has been erected by the Commander-in-Chief, officers and men of the Nore Command, was unveiled at the morning service by Admiral Sir Richard Poore, Bt. Placed in the west end of the church, the memorial, a brass tablet, bears an inscription which is surmounted by a picture of Captain Scott's ship, Terra Nova, and records the names of the Southern party. The inscription states that by supreme effort they reached the South Pole on Jan. 17, 1912, and adds: 'Beset by misfortune and abnormally bad weather on the return journey they perished, meeting death with fortitude and calm heroism. Their bodies rest amid the eternal ice of the South Antarctic. Their deeds have made them immortal.'
      The words of Captain Scott's farewell message are also engraved upon the tablet. The memorial was dedicated by Archdeacon H. S. Wood, Chaplain of the Fleet."
Source: Archives of the Scott Polar Research Institute.
      I've not seen the plaque; any first-hand accounts or comments on its presence/condition would be appreciated.

An update of Episode 3 (posted as Episode 31):

St. George's Center plaque Mr Gerald Mudd has kindly reported the following: St George's church is now St George's Centre and is used for exhibitions and conferances. I managed to locate the plaque behind an exhibitor's display. There are many memorials and mementoes of British Naval history in the Church and they appear to be well cared for. The Scott memorial is in the west wall, between the second and third windows from the northwest entrance. The brass tablet is about 2 by 3 feet and is mounted on a wooden plaque which, in turn, is fixed to the wall. The border of the tablet is a one inch wide decorative strip of intertwined roses and thistles (national flowers). At the top centre is an oval in which is depicted an outline engraving of the Terra Nova. The inscription is as follows:

To the Glory of God and in grateful memory of the life and death of Captain Robert Falcon Scott C.V.O. Royal Navy. Lieutenant Henry Robertson Bowers, Royal Indian Marine. Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates, 6th Inniskilling Dragoons. Doctor Edward Adrian Wilson, MA, MB. Petty Officer Edgar Evans, Royal Navy.

The Southern Party British Antarctic Expedition reached the South Pole on 17th January 1912. Beset by misfortunes and abnormally bad weather, meeting death with fortitude and calm heroism. Their bodies rest amid the eternal ice of the South Antarctic. Their deeds have made them immortal.

"I do not regret this journey which has shown that Englishmen can endure hardship, help one another, and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past. We took risks, we knew we took them, things have come out against us and therefore we have no cause for complaint but bow to the will of PROVIDENCE, determined still to do our duty to the last."

This memorial is erected by the Commander in Chief, the Officers and Men of the Nore Command 1913.

      [Below the inscription are engraved two octagonal medallions about one inch across. The one on the left is somewhat worn, but appears to be an engraving of the classic photo taken of the group at the South Pole; the one on the right is the head of George the 5th with the usual latin inscription around the perimeter, as on the coins of the period.]
      [Outside the decorative border and on the right hand side is the inscription:] F. Osborne & Co Ltd London W.