On Thursday 16th June at 7.30pm, Captain Lawrence Oates, who is best remembered as the man who walked willingly to his death on Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole in 1912 in the hope that his comrades might have a better chance of surviving, will be the fascinating subject for the annual Summer Lecture at Gilbert White’s House & Garden and The Oates Collection at Selborne.
Oates famous last words, “I am just going outside and may be some time” were uttered before he stepped out into a blizzard never to be seen again. His body has never been found. 2012 will mark the centenary of his tragic but brave death, which earned him the title ‘a very gallant gentleman’. Co-author of the biography on Oates, Major General Patrick Cordingley, will give the lecture offering an intriguing insight into the character and background of Oates, and is also leading the fundraising effort that Gilbert White’s House & Garden and The Oates Collection recently launched, to enable the Lawrence Oates gallery within the house to be redesigned to tell his story in a more engaging and interactive way.
Like Captain Oates, Major General Patrick Cordingley began his army career, which spanned four decades, with the Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, and in 1991 he became well known for leading the 7th Armoured Brigade (also known as the Desert Rats and comprising of 12,000 men) in the Gulf War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership and bravery. Previous to this, with his interest in Captain Oates growing, he had formed part of a small expedition to Antarctica, and now widely lectures on the subject, as well as being a motivational speaker, military commentator for the BBC and last month was a guest at the Royal Wedding.
Tickets for the lecture are £18 which include wine & canapés served during the interval, and can be purchased by telephoning Gilbert White’s House & Garden and The Oates Collection on 01420 511275.