BOWERS (HENRY ROBERTSON, 'Birdie')
Lot 92
BOWERS (HENRY ROBERTSON, 'Birdie') Long autograph letter signed ("Henry"), to his sister May [later Lady Maxwell], written from Rangoon on board the Dufferin, 1907
Sold for £1,250 (US$ 2,125) inc. premium
Lot Details
BOWERS (HENRY ROBERTSON, 'Birdie')
Long autograph letter signed ("Henry"), to his sister May [later Lady Maxwell], written from Rangoon on board the Dufferin, setting out his religious beliefs, giving an account of a black eye he has suffered ("it was only caused in a harmless box which I was enjoying right merrily when I noticed my right eye was closing without orders. Instead of singing out "on the knee" I left it alone & continued for another 1/2 hour..."), and discussing the half-yearly confidential reports ("As nobody sees these things except the Director and the Government officers at Simla they are a powerful lever in the hand of an unscrupulous man"), 8 pages, on Royal Indian Marine "Dufferin" headed notepaper, 8vo, Rangoon, 4 January 1907

Footnotes

  • 'BIRDIE' ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY. This letter, and those in the two following lots, give glimpses of the strong selfless character which was to emerge in the Antarctic, and the deep-held religious beliefs which kept him going in impossible conditions; they were written by Bowers during trips on three different ships sailing up and down the Irrawaddy, whilst he was serving with the Royal Indian Marine Service in Burma (his father had died in Rangoon). It was during training for this on board HMS Worcester that he had met Sir Clements Markham, who thought so highly of him that he convinced Scott to take him on the fateful Terra Nova expedition, without an interview and despite the fact that he had no previous polar experience.

    One of the letters found in Scott's tent was addressed to Bowers' mother: "I write when we are very near the end of our journey, and I am finishing it in company with two gallant, noble gentlemen. One of these is your son. He had come to be one of my closest and soundest friends, and I appreciate his wonderful upright nature, his ability and energy. As the troubles have thickened his dauntless spirit ever shone brighter and he has remained cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable to the end."
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