Cardiff marks centenary of Terra Nova's return

SS Terra Nova pictured before it set sail for Antarctica in 1910. Credit: PA

100 years ago today, the ship which carried Captain Scott and his crew on their fateful expedition to the South Pole returned to Cardiff.

Scott had named Wales' capital as the Terra Nova's home port, because of the huge amount of support he had received in the city - in sponsorship and supplies.

It left Cardiff Docks for the Antarctic on 15 June 1910.

Norwegian Roald Amundsen won the race to the Pole.

Robert Falcon Scott - from Plymouth himself - and four other members of his party, including Edger Evans from Gower - died from starvation and extreme temperatures on the journey back.

The ship returned on 14 June 1913, just a day short of three years after it set off.

Thousands were there to welcome it home.

SS Terra Nova's active life continued, until it sunk in 1943 off the coast of Greenland, while working as a supply vessel.

Last July, a team from the research foundation the Schmidt Ocean Institute - including marine technician Leighton Rolley from Cardiff - discovered its wreck.

This is Schmidt Ocean Institute underwater footage of SS Terra Nova

Read More: The story of the ship's discovery, on the Schmidt Ocean Institute website

A number of events are being held to commemorate the centenary, including a pleasure boat retracing the course the Terra Nova made into harbour as she birthed in Cardiff 100 years ago.

Read More: The activities being held to mark the Terra Nova's return

The Cardiff Story Museum has the ship's figurehead on display at the moment, alongside a painting of the ship setting sail for the Antarctic, by Richard Short.

Victoria Rogers from the museum says that "not many people actually realise that the Terra Nova's home port was Cardiff and actually the reason in a lot of respects that Scott actually made it to the Antarctic was because of Welsh support."

Read More: Cardiff Story Museum has more information on the painting

There are a number of permanent reminders in the capital of Scott - from a bar, to a sculpture in Cardiff Bay, the Captain Scott Memorial Lighthouse at Roath Park Lake, and commemoration at the Royal Hotel, which hosted Scott's banquet prior to departure in 1910.

Read More: The Captain Scott Society of Cardiff on the expedition and how it is remembered