Lawrence Edward Grace Oates, who went by the nickname Titus Oates[i], was born on the 17th in 1880. He was an English member of Robert Falcon Scott’s expeditions taking a shot at reaching the South Pole in 1912. The expedition ran into a heck of a lot of problems, Oates more so then the other members of the team due to an old injury. Oates, hoping to make a sacrifice for the others in his party so that they might not be slowed down by him, stepped out of their tent during a raging storm, saying to his compatriots as he opened the tent door to leave “I am just going outside and may be some time.” It was, I suppose, a noble gesture. A gesture that would ultimately prove to be useless, as everyone else would also die, shortly after Oates left, on the ice.
[i] Titus Oates was a conspirator in attempts to kill King Charles II in the late seventeenth century. Titus is ranked first on the BBC’s the list of the 17th century’s 100 worst Britons. In the list of the worst Britons in the last 1000 years, Oates is placed in third place.