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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
Oates' sleeping bag case not sold
Sleeping bag case, Christie's Images Limited 2007
The case was expected to fetch 40,000, Christie's Images Limited 2007
A sleeping bag case belonging to Captain Lawrence Oates during his ill-fated South Pole expedition has failed to sell at auction.

The case has the words "Cpt Oates Polar Party Sleeping Bag" and label addressed to his mother Mrs Oates, Gestingthorpe Hall Castle, Hedingham, Essex.

Oates walked out of the party's tent saying: "I am just going outside and may be some time." He never returned.

The case did not meet the reserve and was withdrawn from sale at Christie's.

It had been expected to fetch up to 40,000 at the sale.


Oates was one of a five-man expedition team which successfully reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912.

However, they were greeted by the soul-destroying evidence that they had been beaten by rival Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

The team struggled to reach a food and equipment supply depot, and all perished on the return journey.

Oates made a decision to sacrifice himself to give the others a chance of survival.

Scott and the other men died more than a week later in a blizzard.

Oates' sleeping bag itself is now at the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge.

Scott voyage diary shows rivalry
07 Apr 04 |  Cambridgeshire

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