Having entered the army in 1898, Oates saw service in the South African War. His interest in sailing, hunting, and kindred pursuits led him to apply for a post on Scott's 1910 expedition to the Antarctic. He was chosen as one of the party of five which reached the South Pole in January 1912. On the return journey, Oates, unable to walk properly because of severely frost‐bitten feet, decided that he was lessening his companions' chances of survival and on 17 March 1912 walked out into a blizzard saying, ‘I am just going outside and may be some time.’ His body was never found.
Subjects: British History.