A farewell letter written by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott when he realized he would not survive his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole is to be sold in London, Bonhams auction house said Tuesday.
Scott's letter to financier Edgar Speyer, who had helped raised funds for the trip, was found on his body in November 1912. It had been written on March 1912. In the letter Scott writes: "I fear we must go...but we have been to the Pole and we shall die like gentlemen - I regret only for the women we leave behind."
He went on to write: "We very nearly came through and it's a pity to have missed it but lately I have felt that we have overshot our mark _ no-one is to blame and I hope no attempt will be made to suggest that we lacked support."
Scott is an icon of the heroic age of polar exploration who reached the South Pole in January 1912 only to discover that he'd been narrowly beaten by Norway's Roald Amundsen.
He perished with four companions on the trek back to base camp, but the discovery of his letters and expedition diary prompted a huge outpouring of public sympathy back in Britain and turned him into a national hero. Public fundraising also raised enough money to pay off the expedition costs, support the families of those who died and to create the Scott Polar Research Institute.
Bonhams said Tuesday that the letter would be auctioned in March 2012 _ on the centennial year of the expedition. Bonhams said it expects to raise around 150,000 pounds ($243,000).