Fifth Officer Harold Godfrey Lowe's Conduct

Dec 5, 2008
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Apparently, Dr. Henry William Frauenthal, the orthopedic surgeon, jumped with his brother from the deck to a boat that had began to be lowered, and landed on Mrs. Stengel, a first class passenger. His boots broke two of her ribs and knocked her unconscious (though I'm not sure if this was in boat #14).

I also know that Mrs. Harris suffered from a broken arm, but from what I have read, that was caused by an accidental fall while still on board the ship.
 
May 27, 2007
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Hi Kat,

I just re-read of Renee Harris's broken arm in Walter Lord's ANTR and the arm was broken before the ship sank. I checked up on that so she didn't end up with a broken arm because of folks jumping into the lifeboats.

I knew some folks had broken ribs from people jumping into lifeboats but I had obtained that information from Dr. Charles Pellegrino's 'Her Name, Titanic' so I wasn't very sure as to it's validity. But since you name names and Dr. Pellegrino got a lot of his sources from Walter Lord's research I'll say very interesting. Thanks for the interesting information, Kat.
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That's what scares me and what makes me not want to get in the boats. I wish I'd know this back in 1993 when I was writing a Titanic Story for English in High School. I had my character refuse to get in the boats because of the crowds but this would of worked better.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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No problem! I'm glad I could be of some help!
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Yes, from what I remember, I think she broke it on the Grand Staircase - something about falling down or tripping up on them. My memories a little hazy, and I have the distinct impression the exact circumstances were ever affirmed; of course I could be completely wrong on that!

I find it ironic that you mention a highschool assignment for that - I had almost the identical one last year! To write from the view point of a passenger on board the Titanic! I chose to pull the historical card and write it in the POV of Madeline Astor, however; my sad attempt at brownie points! :p
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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The incident with Mrs Stengel is perhaps the best known example of an injury caused by passengers jumping into boats. It is also interesting to note that Stengel suggests this prompted an (unnamed) officer involved in loading the boat to announce "I will stop that. I will go down and get my gun." He was gone only "momentarily", and one wonders if the officer concerned was Lowe. Lowe's own testimony states that when he determined that the ship was tipping "I first of all went and got my revolver", seeming to suggest that he did so before beginning work at the lifeboats, but the sequence may be just slightly off and he fetched it during the loading of Boat 5.

There are also a couple of accounts that suggest that one of the men who jumped into Boat 14 as it was being prepared for lowering/in the process of lowering landed on and at least slightly injured a passenger.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Another passenger who was injured during the boarding of the lifeboats was third class passenger Bertha Mulvihill. A passenger jumped down on top of her as Lifeboat #15 lowered away. This took a bad situation and made it even worse for her considering she has previously fallen down some stairs as a man pushed past her in the steerage quarters, during the attempt to get up on deck. Bertha did not know which situation resulted in the injury for certain, but either way, she ended up with some broken ribs and an injured back afterwards. I recall seeing several other mentions of injuries obtained during the evacuation, and it is really amazing that there weren't more.

Kind regards,
Tad
 
May 12, 2005
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Sorry to continue to veer off the subject of the heroic fifth officer but Helen Candee is another notable example of injury during the sinking. She took a tumble while boarding boat 6 and broke her ankle. Kalman Tanito, a Titanic collector many of you know, has a letter from Candee to a friend written just after her rescue in which she describes her injury.

Regarding Rene (later spelled Renee) Harris, her fall occurred on Saturday afternoon, April 13, following a poker game she sat in on to prevent a card shark from taking the only available seat. Here's her account of the incident from the article she wrote for Liberty Magazine (23 April 1932, pp 26-32):

"... It turned out that I was called on to be the eighth 'man.' When the suspected person was pointed out to me I thought he was a minister of the gospel, he looked so virtuous. We played our game of poker on an inclosed deck just outside the main stairway. Heeding the bugle call for dressing, I was making my way to my stateroom when in descending the stairs I slipped, I believe, on a greasy spot left by a tea cake. I took a header down six or seven steps ..."

Her right arm was broken in the fall —— Rene believed the injury actually saved her life. She said if she hadn't been hurt and sedated she would have been in a position to resist her husband's insistence that she get in a lifeboat.

Rene, by the way —— as I think has been mentioned in other threads —- was a vocal supporter of Harold Lowe. She sent presents to him at a public gathering not long after the disaster (Inger Sheil has the details of that; she's the one who told me).

Rene also praised Harold in several interviews. Even in the 1932 piece, 20 years after the sinking, she remembered him with affection:

"... If by some freak of circumstance Fifth Officer Lowe should read these lines, he will know that through all the years he has stood out in my memory as one of the finest men it has been my privilege to meet ..."
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Wow, thank you for clearing that up with so much detail!

Yes, I believe it was some expensive nautical equipment she sent him, engraved with (I think) H.G. Lowe, Harold G. Lowe, or Harold Godfrey Lowe, or something indicative of his name, and 'The Real Hero of the Titanic'.
 
May 27, 2007
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Hello Kat

quote:

I find it ironic that you mention a highschool assignment for that - I had almost the identical one last year! To write from the view point of a passenger on board the Titanic! I chose to pull the historical card and write it in the POV of Madeline Astor, however; my sad attempt at brownie points! :p
Ironic indeed! I was asked the same thing and that's what started my story. I think our assignment was to make up a character and place them in a historical situation and like your assignment Kat, write what happens to them. When I wrote about The Titanic in '93 it wasn't that well known. I was the only one in my class to pick it but my History teacher was enthused. However I concentrated my efforts to the at the time little known steerage. I only used ANTR as a reference and it was sorta vague on some points so I ended up with a B- or C+ for originality. That Summer was when I decided to turn it into a story. most of manuscript was done I just had to flush it out. Memories! Like you though on the report I didn't do so hot.​
 
May 27, 2007
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Hallo Inger
quote:

It is also interesting to note that Stengel suggests this prompted an (unnamed) officer involved in loading the boat to announce "I will stop that. I will go down and get my gun." He was gone only "momentarily", and one wonders if the officer concerned was Lowe. Lowe's own testimony states that when he determined that the ship was tipping "I first of all went and got my revolver", seeming to suggest that he did so before beginning work at the lifeboats, but the sequence may be just slightly off and he fetched it during the loading of Boat 5.
Interesting, that. It does sound like something he would do. Decide to go off on his own like that and get a gun. Lowe wasn't one to stand around waiting for orders. Especially with folks jumping in the boats or looking like they were getting ready to rush the boats.

Howdy Tad,

Poor Bertha Mulvihill! Seems she was getting beat up all over the place that night. First that run in on the stairs and then having somebody land on her in Lifeboat #15. A bad back and some broken rips as well. I hope she sought compensation for White Star for her injuries. A bad back is now joking matter. Although I will say that it seems she forgot to pack her good luck.​
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Hi George!

I'm afraid my story isn't nearly as interesting as that! I think it was more of a case of a hopeless romantic, overzealous english teacher! I think I would have scored better if I hadn't felt the overwhelming need to point out to her that JC's Titanic is just a love story on a boat...

Oh well, what's done is done! I should probably have referred her to ANTR for a little more accuracy, huh?
 
Dec 5, 2008
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"Although I will say that it seems she forgot to pack her good luck."

I guess she had some spare in her pocket though, huh? I'd prefer some bumps and bruises to a dip in the great big pool!
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Thanks Jason, hello to you too!

Glad to know what it was; all I could ever find was references to nautical equipment. The way I always figured it was a whole bunch of seaman's gadgets far beyond my minimal understanding!

Good thing I never met HGL in person, I probably would have gotten a right talking too! :p
 
May 27, 2007
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quote:

Oh well, what's done is done! I should probably have referred her to ANTR for a little more accuracy, huh?
LOL.
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You could of at that.

quote:

I guess she had some spare in her pocket though, huh? I'd prefer some bumps and bruises to a dip in the great big pool!
True at least she got off in a boat.​
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Oh, I remember my history teacher had entire lecture/rant about all the inaccuracies of JC's Titanic! And then of course there are always the people who take hollywood as fact, and refuse to listen to any reasonable argument! I have a definite feeling she was one of those people; I knew I sensed some friction going on there! :p
 

Jason D. Tiller

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You're welcome, Kat. If I recall correctly, there was another item included with the telescope, but for the life of me I can't think of what it was. I'll have to look it up and get back to you, or perhaps Ing will remember.
 
May 27, 2007
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quote:

I have a definite feeling she was one of those people; I knew I sensed some friction going on there! :p
Oh Lord, If I had a nickel for each time.....

Hey Jason,
Wasn't there a compass in the kit Renee Harris sent to Officer Lowe? I seem to have heard or read that some where.​