As the naval surgeon and zoologist on Scott's expedition, Murray Levick found himself as second-in-command of the six-man Northern Party. The group found itself marooned on pack ice on what they called Inexpressible Island from February to September 1912. In freezing hurricane conditions they were forced to abandon their tents and take shelter in a cramped ice-cave that they constructed. The model pictured above is one of the exhibits featured in the Fairlynch display.
There they spent the seven months of an Antarctic winter in pitch darkness before being able to make their 230-mile trek back to base over 37 days of gruelling terrain.
The Northern Party's survival owed much to Levick's care and medical knowledge. On one occasion the men were nearly asphyxiated when they were overcome by fumes from the stove in their ice-cave. It was Levick who saved them in the nick of time.
Their heroism in withstanding that horrific Antarctic experience a century ago will receive further recognition this month with the auction in London of a collection consisting of some of Levick's personal belongings, including striking photographs, documents and drawings which give an insight into how the Northern Party survived.
The collection, which is held by a private owner is due to be sold at Bonhams in London for an estimate in excess of £40,000 on 30 March 2012.
Click on http://www.bonhams.com/to see details of the collection.
Fairlynch's 'Survival!' exhibition opens a week later on Friday 6 April at 2.00 pm.
So if your bid for one of those rare items at the London auction fails you can still come to the Museum and gaze in wonder and at leisure on how those early polar explorers succeeded in battling against such nearly impossible odds.
The Museum will remain open until the end of September. For full details please see the website's home page. The Longest Winter – Scott's Other Heroes, the acclaimed book by Meredith Hooper about Levick and the Northern Party, is on sale at Fairlynch Museum. The author has accepted an invitation to speak at this year's Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival http://www.budlitfest.org.uk/
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