Grandson Unveils Captain Scott Blue Plaque
The grandson of Petty Officer Edgar Evans, the Welsh explorer who perished with Captain Scott after reaching the South Pole in 1912, has unveiled a plaque commemorating the expedition’s historic links with The Royal Hotel in Cardiff. The plaque, positioned next to the hotel’s St Mary Street entrance, commemorates the location of Captain Scott’s farewell dinner held at the hotel on 13th June 1910, the expedition party’s final public banquet before departing from Cardiff.
The farewell dinner was held in the hotel’s Alexandra Room on 13th June 1910. The room was subsequently renamed The Captain Scott Room and has been preserved ever since.
Following the discovery of the original menu by the hotel in 1982, The Captain Scott Society was founded and holds an annual dinner featuring the original menu in same room to commemorate the occasion.
John Evans, whose grandfather came from Middleton, Rhossili, aims to take part in The International Scott Centenary Expedition 2012 (ISCE) to the Antarctic next year. John along with relatives from all five families of Scott’s Pole Party, will fly out to hold a memorial service for the nation, at their final resting place.
Mr Evans, is also heading a campaign to raise funds to pay for a memorial statue to his grandfather in Swansea.
Jon Swingler, Manager of The Royal Hotel said: “It is incredibly important for us to play our part in commemorating the historic connections between Cardiff and Captain Scott. The plaque has pride of place for the citizens of Cardiff, as well as visitors to the city from all over the world.”
John Evans said: “I am honoured to have been invited to unveil this marvelous plaque in memory of the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13. I am looking forward to fulfilling my life-long ambition to walk in his steps in Antartica, to see some of the sights he experienced, where my grandfather both conquered the South Pole and sadly lost his life along with the Pole Party.
I am delighted that the The Royal Hotel is helping to keep their legends alive and it makes me more determined to see a fitting memorial statue to my grandfather erected in Swansea.” Peter Lloyd Jones, Chairman of The Captain Scott Society who attended with his colleague Julian Salisbury said: “I am entirely favourable of suggestions to erect a statue on Swansea waterfront to such a towering figure as Petty Officer Evans who really is renowned the world over for his achievement.”
Historian Brian Lee added: “I believe it is very important to keep alive the names of these great explorers. Other members of Scott’s expedition have statues in their home towns, and indeed overseas, so why shouldn’t Wales and in particular Swansea celebrate its own son in Edgar Evans.”
Petty Officer Evans gave a speech at the 1910 dinner at the Royal Hotel and last year, at a centenary dinner commemorating the event John Evans spoke the exact words as his grandfather.Unveiling the plaque, John Evans once again quoted some of the words spoken by Petty Officer Evans at the 1910 event to his hosts:“The crew appreciate what you have done for them, I hope we shall meet again - and we shall. Of course, that depends on Captain Scott bringing back the Pole. We cannot put it in the museum, but if we do bring it back I hope you will let it go to Swansea.”