Edward Adrian Wilson (Wilson of the Antarctic) was born in Cheltenham on 23 July 1872. He was educated at Cheltenham College, and studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and at St. George's Hospital, London. Dr. Wilson was an accomplished self-taught artist and field naturalist. Although he had contracted tuberculosis during his work in the slums of London, he was appointed as the Assistant Surgeon and Vertebrate Zoologist to the British National Antarctic Expedition (1901-1904) aboard 'Discovery', under Commander Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912). On the return of the Expedition he was appointed Field Observer to the Grouse Disease Inquiry. He also illustrated wildlife books. In 1910 Wilson returned to the Antarctic with Captain Scott aboard the vessel 'Terra Nova' as Chief of the Scientific Staff. The Expedition reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, but only after the Norwegian Expedition under Roald Amundsen had gotten there first. Edward Adrian Wilson BA, MB (Cantab.), FZS died on the Great Ice Barrier around 29 March 1912 along with his fellow explorers on the return journey from the Pole.
From the guide to the Letter of Edward A. Wilson (1872-1912), 1909, (Edinburgh University Library)