William Lashly was born on 25 December 1867 in Hampshire, England. He went to school in Hampshire until he was thirteen and then worked with his father as a thatcher, eventually joining the Navy in 1889.
He joined the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) as a Leading Stoker. The expedition made the first extensive exploration on land in Antarctica and Lashly took part in several sledging journeys. Due to his impressive record on the expedition, Lashly was selected as Chief Stoker for the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). As a member of the final support party, he accompanied the polar party as far as the Beardmore Glacier. On the return journey with Lieutenant Edward R.G.R Evans and Thomas Crean, Lashly remained with Evans, who was dangerously ill, while Crean went to summon help. He was awarded the Albert Medal for saving the life of Evans on that expedition.
Lashly served with the fleet during the First World War, then retired from the Navy to join the Customs and Excise Service. He died on 12 June 1940.
Published work, The diary of William Lashly, a record of the return journey by the last supporting party, with Captain Scott to the South Pole with a forward by Admiral Sir Edward RGR Evans, University of Reading (1939) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1910-1913 Scott]
From the guide to the William Lashly collection, 1901- 1937, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)