All the Horrors Seem to Happen at Night


Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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Congratulations to Inger on such a wonderful article. The solid research that went into it kept me interested from the first word through the last.

I also enjoyed the new pictures of Moody.
Excellent job!
Mike
 
A

Andrew Williams

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Enjoyed every minute.

Superb work, done by a superb researcher.

Well done Inger and many thanks for giving us an insight into a part of Moody's life.

Andrew W.
 

Gary Cooper

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Jun 5, 2003
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Nice one Inger, very interesting. Moody has always seemed one of the obscure souls on the bridge of the Titanic, nice to see him given some due.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Many thanks for all your feedback and comments - they are much appreciated.

Glad you liked the photos, Mike P! I tried to select images more contemporaneous with his early career, rather than the two c.1911-1912 images that are so often used. The first portrait, with the broad collar, was taken while he was attending the Rosebery House School in Scarborough, c. 1901.

The image of the fireboat comes from a postcard in my collection. Although undated, the caption refers to a Hoboken fire starting in the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad yards, which leads me to believe that it was the fire Moody witnessed in 1904. The pc is not unusual, and was issued as late as the early teens.

Dave, I'm very pleased that you feel the piece was not overwritten. I had to resist the temptation to add an editorial gloss, as the letters are so rich in source material for the last days in sail that they offer much for analysis and commentary. I thought it would be better to keep the narrative as simple and direct as possible, as Moody writes a crackingly good yarn. I didn't want the barrier of my own 'interpretation' to stand between his story and the reader.

I'm also pleased that people feel that some of the mystery has been stripped away. I particularly wanted to address the idea that I've encountered in some circles - that Moody, as the youngest and most junior officer, was somehow inexperienced when he joined the Titanic. The Boadicea's crossing to New York was just the beginning for him - he was to experience other ferocious storms at sea. On one occasion, as they sailed through the Straits of Magellan in weather that ripped the doors off cabins, his explosives-laden steamer was nearly driven onto rocks ('Good job my will's made' he commented laconically). On another occasion his ship was given up for lost when she was overdue - her prop shaft had broken, leaving her helpless. Moody was no naive stripling when he joined the Titanic - he was a seasoned professional.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Inger,

A splendid well researched and documented paper. It gives a wonderful insight to the life of James Moody.

Regards,
Lester
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I particularly wanted to address the idea that I've encountered in some circles - that Moody, as the youngest and most junior officer, was somehow inexperienced when he joined the Titanic. <<

I think you pretty well nuked that one. It's often overlooked that Titanic's officers got their start in sail. In fact, I recall that White Star required such experience. It was a brutal school to learn from too. The sort where incompetants got weeded out very quickly, one way or another.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Fascinating article, Inger. I'm thinking of making 19-year old James read it, who complained yesterday about having to shift trays of plants in the rain ....
 

Remco Hillen

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Jan 6, 2001
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Hello Inger,

Congratulations on the article, very interesting to read.
It gives a very good idea on how a lot of White Star officers started their careers; what a way to do so!


Regards,
Remco
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Congratulations, Inger! Your article was first rate, as I expected that it would be, and does a great service to the memory of Officer Moody. I look forward to the next installment.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Chuckling at your own James, Monica! Of course, in the midst of all this drama at sea, there were days when he did nothing but tally cargo as it came aboard and ate tropical fruit in exotic foreign ports...and then there was the ongoing quest for the perfect Panama Hat. It was not all doom and gloom in stormy seas.

Thank you again for those additional comments since I last posted - I wasn't sure if the focus of the piece was too narrow, and am pleased to see that doesn't seem to be the feedback.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I misjudged the boy, Inger. How could his own mother etc. etc? It seems the trays were loaded onto 6ft high wheeled containers, 72 trays to each, and he had to push them up a hill to the loading dock in the pouring rain. He shifted 5000 in a morning, so not quite the wafting around with a tray of seedlings I at first thought. Apparently he broke the record. And, he tartly informs me, he'd be the first up the rigging, and he wouldn't be wasting his time in port looking for a Panama hat!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Ah, but a Panama hat might have kept the rain off. I well remember rainy days at college, when my students would arrive thoroughly miserable and looking like drowned rats. Why not use an umbrella, I would ask. Because we don't want to look silly, they would reply in between sneezes. Apparently you have to be young to understand the logic of youth.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I regret to say that, upon enquiry, James is not bothered about rain, hats, or manual labour. He seems entirely focussed upon girls and exotic ports. Well, I guess it figures. Viva youth! I dimly remember it.... every dog has his day.
 

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