William Lashly collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to two Antarctic expeditions, the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1912 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and general correspondence by Lashly.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Lashly was born on 25 December 1867 in Hampshire, England. He went to school in Hampshire until he was thirteen and then worked with his father as a thatcher, eventually joining the Navy in 1889.

He joined the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) as a Leading Stoker. The expedition made the first extensive exploration on land in Antarctica and Lashly took part in several sledging journeys. Due to his impressive record on the expedition, Lashly was selected as Chief Stoker for the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). As a member of the final support party, he accompanied the polar party as far as the Beardmore Glacier. On the return journey with Lieutenant Edward R.G.R Evans and Thomas Crean, Lashly remained with Evans, who was dangerously ill, while Crean went to summon help. He was awarded the Albert Medal for saving the life of Evans on that expedition.

Lashly served with the fleet during the First World War, then retired from the Navy to join the Customs and Excise Service. He died on 12 June 1940.

Published work, The diary of William Lashly, a record of the return journey by the last supporting party, with Captain Scott to the South Pole with a forward by Admiral Sir Edward RGR Evans, University of Reading (1939) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1910-1913 Scott]


The collection is split into three sub-fonds, covering the material relating to the two expedition and correspondence respectively.

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034 and Antarctica's Forgotten Men by Leslie B. Quartermain, Millwood Press, Wellington (1981) ISBN 0-908582-52-8 SPRI Library Shelf 92(08)[1981] and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7)

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible.

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library. This material includes photographic collections for the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 and the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.

For a biographical sketch of Lashly see SPRI collection GB 015 Leslie Quartermine (MS 1293/7;D Ten forgotten men of Antarctica)


Edited versions of Lashly's diaries are published in Under Scott's command, Lashly's Antarctic diaries 1969, SPRI Library shelf 92[Lashly W]