About this event

  • Date and time Thu 17 Feb 2022 from 10:30am to 3:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Senior Fellows Forum

The Retired Fellows Society welcomes author and lecturer Dr Isobel Williams to give the lecture 'Petty Officer Edgar Evans - Scott’s ‘giant worker’ and ’invaluable assistant’'.

Edgar Evans, Captain Scott’s ’giant worker’ and ‘invaluable assistant’ went with his leader on both the British Antarctic Expeditions in the early 1900s – these were the Discovery expedition of 1901 and the Terra Nova expedition of 1912. He distinguished himself in both expeditions.

He was chosen by Scott to be one of the five men to make the final attempt at the South Pole.

Tragically the 'Welsh Giant' was the first to die on the team’s ill-fated return and posthumously, Edgar was blamed, in some quarters, for being responsible for the deaths of the whole party. Some suggested that his failure was due to his relative lack of education. In this presentation, Dr Isobel Williams gives an account of his life and repudiate this suggestion.

Please note that the AGM will take place during this meeting.

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Key speakers

Dr Isobel Williams

Retired NHS Consultant Physician Respiratory and General Medicine

Speaker's biography

Dr Isobel Williams attended Kings College in the Strand for pre-clinical studies and, after passing the 2nd MB, moved to St Georges Hospital at Hyde Park Corner. She married a fellow student before qualifying. They did midwifery in Oldham Hospital with Patrick Steptoe who later delivered the first test-tube baby. After qualification she progressed to become a Consultant Respiratory Physician, working with the National Health Service. Dr Edward Wilson, Scott's friend and confidant had trained at St George's some seventy years previously and there were many of his iconic paintings to study in the medical school. Dr Williams became fascinated by Wilson’s many achievements and wrote the biography of this remarkable man. Wilson, and subsequently Dr Williams, became interested in the lives of the men of the ‘lower deck’, in the contrast between their education, pay and prospects in comparison to those of the officer class. Edgar Evans, a petty officer, was one of Scott’s loyal followers. Dr Williams determined to research his life and wrote a biography of this man who was much maligned after his death. Her blog, primarily on Antarctic subjects, can be found here.


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
AGM of the Retired Fellows Society
Welcome and introduction

Chair: Dr Richard Lansdown, Chairman, Retired Fellows Society, Royal Society of Medicine

Petty Officer Edgar Evans - Scott’s ‘giant worker’ and ’invaluable assistant’

Dr Isobel Williams, Retired NHS Consultant Physician Respiratory and General Medicine

Close of meeting followed by lunch

For those who have pre-booked


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

Special rates for difficult times  

The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s weekly COVID-19 Series webinars remain free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and apply during the course of the pandemic. 

Registration for this meeting will close 24 hours prior to the start time.

If UK government guidelines and restrictions change, the format of this event will be updated to comply, and all delegates will be notified via email.