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One of the finest examples of self-sacrifice was the action of Captain Lawrence Gates, who was on Scott's Last Expedition to the South Pole.

The little party of men had reached the Pole on January 18th, 1912, to find to their bitter disappointment that the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, had been there ahead of them, only a few weeks before.

On the return journey the party suffered great hardships from intense cold and terrible weather. The men became weaker and weaker. One of them, Petty Officer Evans, died.

Then Oates became badly frost-bitten in hands and feet, and he realized that he was becoming a burden on the others.

This is what Captain Scott wrote of him, "He has borne intense suffering for weeks without complaint, and to the very last was able and willing to discuss outside subjects. He did not-would not -give up hope till the very end. He was a brave soul. This was the end. He slept through the night before last, hoping not to wake; but he woke in the morning-yesterday. It was blowing a blizzard, He said, 'I am just going outside and may be some time.' He went out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since.. . . We knew that Oates was walking to his death, but though we tried to dissuade him, we knew it was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman."

Boys, too, can show just the same spirit.

A lad of eighteen named Currie saw a little girl playing on a railway line at Clydebank in front of an approaching train. He tried to rescue her, but he was lame from an injury he had suffered at football, and it delayed him in getting her clear. The train knocked both of them over, and both were killed.

But Currie's gallant attempt is a true example of chivalry. It was sacrifice of himself in the attempt to save a child.

Thousands of cases of gallantry in saving life by Scouts have occurred.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation


Learn A Continuation:

to the next page: Kindness

Back in The Past:

to the previous page: Unselfishness

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