A Question re Will Murdoch's Vital Stats


Inger Sheil

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In James Moody's case, Kyrila, it most certainly was not the uniform that made the man. Moody looked somewhat uncomfortable in the rare uniform portraits I've seen of him - in the full length version of the cropped picture in his WSL uniform that often appears he seems uncharacteristically stiff. Even his family have suggested they are not overly fond of it. In his shoregoing clothes, however, he looked unconsciously elegant and at home, giving weight to a contemporary description of him as a 'smart young man'.

I've yet to meet anyone who I thought could 'play' him in terms of either physical resemblance or who seems to appreciate his character enough to realistically portray it (and I mean in all its complexity - not just the sunny optimism). It's not just a question of looks - although I've never seen quite his look in anyone, save for some of his own relations.

Bob, I assume you are aware that there is no eyewitness account that puts a gun in James Moody's hand? Unless, of course, you give any credence to recent attempts at revisionist history that attempt to place one there, flying in the face of the extant evidence.

Go the propoganda - repeat the distorted version of history, with its blatantly biased agenda and twisting of sources - and it will eventually be accepted as history. Or at least that's what those who have attempted to rewrite Moody's role in the Titanic disaster and turn him into a gun-toting killer and suicide are hoping.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Inger, Randy will be attired as Murdoch, not Moody. Thus my joking reference to a possible accoutrement which as far as I know was issued only to the senior officers. If anyone's been suggesting that Moody was packing a gun, let alone using it, it ain't me. Honest.
 
May 12, 2005
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Thanks, folks, I hope to do my best. I doubt that Murdoch's fans will be impressed but, failing any actual resemblance, I'll at least be respectful of his memory while representing him. They can be assured of that.

And, whether or not I'm considered worthy by some to portray Moody, if I had chosen to do so I'd have shown the same respect for him. I have expressed publicly and privately my disappointment at the blights perpetrated against both officers' characters owing to the question of suicide so my sympathy is a matter of record.

As I'm more than aware - through my own research into the lives of the Duff Gordons - of the damage to be wrought by revisionist historians' character assaults, I could not be anything but sensitive to the issue.

It'll be an honor to portray Murdoch, a fine man who's been vastly misunderstood, while reading a letter from a woman who has been similarly maligned. I'm proud to help shed a little positive light on two shadowy figures whose paths crossed only briefly at Lifeboat #1 but whose lives are are now forever entwined.
 

Inger Sheil

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quote:

I could not be anything but sensitive to the issue.

Oh?

Bob, I get your meaning now - I thought you were referring to the posts above, and were about to slog a Webley into Moody's attire as per recent strained, half-baked efforts to put one there. Am very pleased to see that's not the case, and apologise for thinking it was.

Now if it was Lowe with one of his loved and tended armaments....!​
 
May 12, 2005
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Dear Inger,

Re:

"Randy: I could not be anything but sensitive to the issue.
Inger: Oh?..."

Yes, if you remember, I showed my sensitivity to the issue here on ET less than 2 months ago on a thread in which I stated my views clearly and impartially. Anyone can see for themselves from those posts that I showed sympathy with you while maintaining an open mind and supporting the viewpoint of another list member and good friend. I also stated my views to you personally in e-mails.

To refresh your's and other members' memory, please find below an excerpt from a comment I posted here on ET on 14 Aug., 2003. It was addressed to you with regard to the issue of Moody's alleged suicide:

"...I have agreed with you that Moody is served abominably in Stormer's account but who better to dispute her claims than yourself? Who has done the research, the real homework to know the essential Moody? You have. What better venue than this for you to give the facts as you've discovered them? You have done so beautifully. We had spoken some time ago about your desire to challenge Stormer's assessment which we both agreed was heinous. However much a "Pellegrino" she is in my opinion, I have to accept that others revere her (as they do him). It is only right that platforms are provided for all points of view."

I stand by my opinion which, to clarify, is:

A) I strongly disagree with the Stormer article's argument

B) I strongly uphold the right for it to be published online or in print.

No good is served by censorship.

And to further clarify, no accusation ("half-baked" or otherwise) against Moody was made in this thread that I'm aware of.

Best wishes,
Randy
 

Inger Sheil

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You can't run with the foxes and hunt with the hounds.

The question here is not one of censorship. At no point have I suggested that someone does not have a 'right' to publish whatever material they want, as long as it falls within the bounds of what is legal. However, that does not prevent me from stating in public *my* views on material that is seriously flawed. The 'censorship' reference is a red herring.

You state that you disagree with the Stormer article, and yet you applaud with bells on its publication. You even spoke of 'fairness' being the object in publishing this piece. It was put up in a purported effort to be 'fair' to Murdoch.

No-one - not you, nor the author, nor the publisher - thought of 'fairness' to James Moody when they published this piece. It was presented without the slightest effort to give any form of alternative, balanced view.

It has done a deep disservice to the memory of a young man who died during the performance of his duties.

That it should be done out of a purported desire to be 'fair' makes it all the more execrable.

I'd be happy to debate with you, the author, or anyone else the 'merits' of this piece of writing.

I was not referring to the accusations that have been made against Moody in this thread. I was making my remarks in the context of recent efforts to present a pathetically under-researched half-baked theory that will not stand up to scrutiny, and which has since served as the basis for baiting elsewhere in this forum.

It is the publication of this particular theory, which you - in spite of your own recognition that it is deeply flawed - applaud and find highly laudable - that I detest from the point of view of someone who has actually bothered to do some research on the man in question.

Fairness? There is nothing fair in the treatment of James Moody in that article at all. And anyone who applauds it and thinks it a commendable thing that this bit of bolloxology should be published without any effort to balance its distortions of the historical record takes part in that manifest unfairness.

Next week I will be visiting the Moody family. I couldn't look them in the face if I had by silence or otherwise condoned this suggestion that publishing such a piece of twisted history was a 'good' or a 'fair' thing to do.
 

George Behe

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Hi, Randy!

I'm looking forward to seeing you decked out as First Officer Murdoch (and am wondering if that old seadog will speak with a Texas drawl.) :) I'm also eager to see the other folks who will be portraying other Titanic personages; seeing Pat Cook as a 7' 2" bearded Lawrence Beesley will be something to tell my grandchildren about. :)

It's going to be a good gathering, and we're going to have a lot of fun!

Hi, Bob, Kritina, Pat and Kyrila!

I wish you guys were coming to the Texas gathering, too -- it would be nice to finally be able to put faces to names that I've grown to know and respect here on ET.

Are any other ET members intending to come to the get-together aside from those who have already been listed in the 'Texas thread?' Phil Gowan, Eric Sauder, Mike Standart, Michael Tennaro, is there any chance you guys will be able to come? It would be great to see you all again.

(But perhaps we'd better continue this conversation on the "Texas Weekend" thread.) :)

All my best,

George
 

Inger Sheil

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'course, that photoshopped image of James Moody is good for a laugh - I just hope that no one is going by that when they've commented on his appearance ;-)

Pity, when there are so many good photos of the man in existance.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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George, I wish I could get to the Texas event. However even if time and finances permitted (They don't. Need to be thrifty to save up for Christmas and whatever the Internal Rape Revenue Service has in store for me) my work schedule doesn't. I'll be checking that album Shelley's putting on her website though.
 

George Behe

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Hi, Michael!

I'm sorry to hear that you won't be able to attend -- it would have been great to see you again. (I know what you're saying, though -- sometimes we have to make 'Titanic sacrifices' in order to still be able to afford incidental things like food and drink.) :)

Hope to see you another time, old chap.

All my best,

George
 
May 12, 2005
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Hi, George:

"...I'm looking forward to seeing you decked out as First Officer Murdoch (and am wondering if that old seadog will speak with a Texas drawl.) :) ..."

Well, he'll have to have a drawl, I guess, because I don't have time to work on a good accent and am not even sure what kind he had. I could do my Hyacinth Bouquet impression but somehow I don't think that would be right for this occasion!

"...seeing Pat Cook as a 7' 2" bearded Lawrence Beesley will be something to tell my grandchildren about. :)..."

Yup, that's going to be one for the history books, or at least the National Enquirer: Beesley never died - he just grew a foot taller, sprouted whiskers and moved to Houston!

"...Phil Gowan, Eric Sauder, Mike Standart, Michael Tennaro, is there any chance you guys will be able to come?..."

These guys would be much welcome, as will anybody else who cares to come and hang out with us down on the ponderosa. I know I speak for Doug in saying that I hope they make it out here next year. I think old Gowan is on some cruise. Ah, to have the life of a gentleman of leisure, eh?

Am headed down to the Titanic Texas Weekend thread - just saw your post!

Best wishes,
Randy
 
Feb 21, 2003
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Randy, Will Murdoch is a Scotsman, for which he hails from Dalbeattie, Scotland. I thought everybody knew that. Also, actor Ewan Stewart who played him in James Cameron's TITANIC, also is a Scotsman...so all you really have to do is to rent this movie (it's in either VHS or DVD), and listen to the way he talks.
 

Inger Sheil

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There are different Scots regional accents, Tammy. Although the folk in Dalbeattie (around Dumfries and Galloway) are known for a particularly strong lowland Scots accent, Murdoch quite possibly had refined his over the course of his life and career. Information I have regarding the Murdoch family also suggests that they were inclined to social climbing, which might also have lead to a modification of their accent. Ewan Stewart's fairly mild version of an accent (comprehensible to American audiences...not to mention other non-Scots!) is possibly akin to Murdoch's. I've come across a couple of sources that identify Murdoch as a Scotsman from people who were probably unaware of his birthplace, so there was obviously at least a trace of an accent there that allowed them to make the identification. There is, however, nothing worse than attempting to ape a Scots accent if you haven't got it down pat, unless you're trying to do a Welsh accent. Or, like me, every foreign accent you try winds up a dodgy version of a West Cork broque (friends find it vastly amusing for me to start with, say, Scouser and the next moment come off with a poor man's County Cork).

As for Murdoch's appearance, one of the most vivid physical descriptions comes from Walter Lord's words about him as an 'agile terrier of a man'. A friend of mine, a Murdoch researcher, interviewed Walter Lord in part to specifically to find out the origins of this phrase and from whom the author derived it from. According to what Lord told her, it was virtually a verbatim description from someone who had known the First Officer. Unfortunately, he could not remember which individual it was - only tht it was someone who knew him. Looking at the photos of Murdoch, and reading descriptions of his energy and activity that night, it seems very apt indeed.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Hope to see you another time, old chap.<<

Likewise George. Perhaps if you can make it to one of the tech gatherings that David Brown and Erik Wood have been organizing???? (Hint hint.) Looks like I'll be burying my nose in transcripts and depositions for the forseeable future.
 
Jun 18, 2007
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>Hi, Bob, Kritina, Pat and Kyrila!

I wish you guys were coming to the Texas gathering, too -- it would be nice to finally be able to put faces to names that I've grown to know and respect here on ET.

How'd my name get in there? Oh, the bribe worked, I see!!!! ;)
 

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