"I am just going outside and may be some time." Lawrence Oates, 17th March 1912.


Captain Oates is best remembered as the man who walked willingly to his death on Captain Scott's ill-fated expedition to the South Pole in order that his comrades might have a better chance to survive. 


"This is a well researched, beautifully presented biography with fine photographs of Oates's life and his time in the Antarctic. Much of the original research was done in the 1960s, when Oates's sister and fellow officers were still alive, albeit in their eighties or nineties. The authors have produced a fascinating character study of a quintessential British hero. 'The Soldier', as Oates was known, was not perhaps ideal for teamwork being a solitary man whose uncompromising views could irritate those easily offended. However, his frequent bouts of sourness towards Scott were mitigated by his common sense, practical abilities and above all his inimitable strength of character. Like Scott, Oates immortalised himself through the manner of his death. As the authors put it; since death was coming too slowly for him, he simply got up and went out to meet it."

Sir Ranulph Fiennes


A selection of other reviews:


 "This is a perfect biography which provide enjoyment of all those elements to the story which are recognised by the reader and equal fascination for those aspects which are not previously known."

Amazon Review


"This is an excellent book. It not only encapsulates Oates's life from his earliest years, but perceptively depicts the social mores and attitudes prevalent at the turn of the century."

Sir Vivian Fuchs in the Geographical Magazine


"An absorbing biography."   

Country Life


"The biography re-creates Oates's vanished world movingly. It re-establishes him as a most loveable tory anarchist who died nobly."  

Books And Bookmen


"The authors show that Oates was nobody's man except his own. His courage shines with piercing simplicity. They quote a young seaman who said, 'Captain Oates did just what we all expected of him, Sir. He was a fine man. Not much talk about him, but chock full of grit' ."     

 The Observer