Zoe Young at Port Chalmers yesterday, where her grandmother last saw her first husband, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, before the Terra Nova expedition to the Antarctic which claimed his life. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Some historic footsteps from 100 years ago were recreated in
Dunedin yesterday. English environmentalist Zoe Young
repeated her grandmother's 1913 journey to mourn the death of
her husband, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, on the ill-fated
Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole.
''It's a journey in honour of my grandmother. It's also an
ancestral journey,'' she said yesterday.
''Our ancestors have become the stuff of myth and legend.''
Ms Young is the grand-daughter of Kathleen Scott, who was
Scott's wife when he perished with companions Lawrence Oates,
Edgar Evans, Edward Wilson and Henry Robertson Bowers after
being beaten to the pole by Norwegian explorer Roald
She was on board a ship, on her way to meet her husband in
New Zealand, when she learned of his death.
''She was somewhere in the vicinity of Tahiti, when she was
told the news. Then she arrived in New Zealand to face the
world's press and attention,'' Ms Young said.
''She had seen her man off from Port Chalmers in 1910. They
spent their last night together at a house on the corner of
Jubilee [St] and Hawthorn [Ave], in Mornington. Then she was
taken out to the Terra Nova to say goodbye.''
Scott (43) and his companions died from exhaustion,
starvation and extreme cold on the Ross Ice Shelf in 1912.
His final diary entry on March 29 read: ''Last entry. For
God's sake look after our people.''
However, the world was not informed of the tragedy until
Terra Nova returned to Oamaru on February 10, 1913.
In 1922, Lady Scott married Hilton Young, later Lord Kennet,
and they are Ms Young's grandparents.
''We grew up in `Peter Pan House', overlooking Kensington
Gardens. Scott was friends with J. M. Barrie, and my
grandparents later bought the house,'' she said yesterday.
Her uncle, the ornithologist, conservationist and painter Sir
Peter Scott (1909-1989), was named after Peter Pan.
''He was called the patron saint of conservation by Sir David
Ms Young is an author, film-maker and artist, who campaigns
for environmental issues. ''Heritage comes down through the
generations and our family was firmly raised to protect the
legacy. Growing up, it was very clear that you needed to do
the right thing. Science, simplicity and nature were
primary,'' she said.
''All my life I've been working for the protection of the
environment. To me it's obvious; we need to protect this
Earth for future generations.''
Ms Young visited Oamaru earlier this week to read excerpts
from her sister Louisa Young's biography of their
grandmother, A Great Task of Happiness - The Life of
She also plans to visit the marble sculpture of Scott in
Christchurch, which her grandmother, a renowned sculptor who
studied under Auguste Rodin [The Thinker]. created
after the explorer's death.
''The statue fell during the  earthquake. It was broken
at the feet during the earthquake, just like Scott at the
South Pole,'' she mused.