26 October 1911: Lashly’s Diary

Bill Lashly was one of the stokers, of the engineering department on board the Terra Nova. On shore he was in charge of the motor sledges. At the time, kerosene-fired engines were very much in their infancy. The notion of “tracks” was developed for Scott’s expedition, and before this time had not existed. It became the modus operandi for “tanks” in the Great War yet to come.

From Lashly’s diary: “Started at 9:30. Engines going well. Surface very much better. Dropped one tin of petrol each and some lubricating oil. Lunched about 2 miles from Hut Point. Captain and supporting party arrived from Cape Evans to help us over the blue ice but were not required. Went on again after lunch but were delayed by the other sledge not bing able to get along.

“I am beginning to think the motors are not powerful enought to pull the loads over heavy surfaces as they are continually overheating. The distance in each run is about from a thousand yards to a mile. Then it is necessary to stop at least half an hour if no wind, and in cold a little less. Then again it is most difficult to keep the carburettors warm to start again, but it seems we may overcome this in time, but the overheating we shall not be able to get over all the time. The engine is dragging such heavy loads, or may be, we say such heavy surfaces.”

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