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- I am just going outside. I may be some time.
- On Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated Antarctic expedition, while suffering from frostbite and sheltering from a blizzard, Oates felt he was decreasing his companions' chances of survival. Oates voluntarily left the tent; it was his 32nd birthday. He was never seen again.
- Quoted in R. F. Scott's diary, published as Scott's Last Expedition, ch.20
Quotes about Oates
- A very gallant gentleman.
- On his memorial plaque