Dr. Edward Wilson (1872-1912) is one of the most famous native sons of Cheltenham. He was an influential figure of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, being chiefly remembered today as the artistic scientist who died with Captain Scott.
Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson BA, MB (Cantab.), FZS was born in Montpellier Parade, Cheltenham on 23 July 1872. He was educated at Cheltenham College, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and St. George’s Hospital, London, becoming a highly regarded self-taught artist and field naturalist. Contracting tuberculosis from his mission work in London slums, he nevertheless recovered to be appointed as the Assistant Surgeon and Vertebrate Zoologist to the British National Antarctic Expedition (1901-1904) aboard Discovery, under Commander Robert Falcon Scott. Upon return he was appointed Field Observer to the Grouse Disease Inquiry and illustrated wildlife books. In 1910 he returned to the Antarctic with Captain Scott aboard Terra Nova as Chief of the Scientific Staff. He died with his comrades on the return from the South Pole in 1912.