Robert Scott Memorial, Port Chalmers

Robert Scott Memorial, Port Chalmers

Memorial Memorial Memorial plaque

The ill-fated Scott expedition left Port Chalmers for Antarctica on 19 November 1910. After news of the death of Captain Scott and members of his party reached New Zealand, places as far apart as Warkworth, Christchurch and Queenstown decided to erect memorials in their honour. In March 1913 the Port Chalmers Borough Council, for its part, decided to erect a memorial cairn on Height Rock, overlooking the harbour.

This was paid for largely by public subscriptions. The foundation stone was laid on 13 December 1913. Prime Minister W.F. Massey formally unveiled the monument on 30 May 1914.

The structure, designed by architect Robert Burnside, consisted of a tall and gently tapering column of Port Chalmers stone, surmounted by an anchor. On the landward side was inset a marble tablet inscribed with (inter alia) the names of those who perished: Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Dr Edward Adrian Wilson, Captain Lawrence E.G. Oates, Lieutenant Henry R. Bowers and Petty Officer Edgar Evans.

Sources: ‘Scott Memorial Cairn’, Otago Daily Times, 15/12/1913, p. 7; ‘In Memory of Scott’, NZ Herald, 1/6/1914, p. 9; ‘Scott Memorial Cairn Unveiled by Prime Minister’, Otago Daily Times, 1/6/1914, p. 4; Ian Church, Port Chalmers and Its People, Dunedin, 1994, p. 111.

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