Home From The Sea by A Rostron

Oh Patty! Thanks for that story, it's restored my faith in my own quest. I've had some good book luck like that, but was starting to give up on a Rostron. I have found a few copies that were more than affordable, but was always just that fraction too late to be the successful buyer/bidder. Your bound magazine is a lovely thing too. I'm afraid I've only got the repro booklets. It's just not the same, is it.

Nice to meet you.
Hey Patty, good to see you posting, and great buy on the Rostron. you got it for a bargain, although I know many people cringe at the concept that $150 is a bargain for a book!

Fiona, keep the faith. the neat thing about the used book market is that there are still real bargains to be had, with a little luck. you just have to be in the right place at the right time. now if only I could figure out how to do that consistently!
Hi, Michael and Mike...good hearing from you.
And Fiona, it is nice meeting you too. If I find
Rostron anywhere, Fiona, I will let you and Mike
H. know. I had put a search out one time, with
an antiquarian book search and they found me
another copy, but it was $300.00 and since I
already had one...I am not rich enough to buy
another one at that price. I did not even know
about this web site, until I read JR Nolan's book
"The Search for Uncle Pat". I purchased it from
him, he signed it....and that is how I found
about this site, it was mentioned in his book.
What a great site, and I was tickled to see I
knew some people here...Again , Mike,Michael and
Fiona, good talking with you. If you need me
to help search for a particular book...feel
free to email me At [email protected]

Chris Gregory

My grandmother was a childhood friend of Sir Arthur living only three doors away in Bolton and he gave a signed first edition to my father. It is quite remarkable that Sir Arthur and also Captain Lord should come from the Bolton area which was nothing more than a smokey mill town with no seafaring tradition at all.

Tracy Smith

Captain Lord's older brother, James Lord, was the same age as Arthur Rostron, so he and Arthur Rostron no doubt knew each other from school. However, I don't know if Captain Rostron later remembered Captain Lord as being the little brother of his former schoolmate.

Chris Gregory

Captain Rostron went to the prestigious Bolton School and I believe Captain Lord went to a more local school. They lived about three or four miles apart. They may have been at the same training school for seamen in Liverpool but I dont know.

Tracy Smith

Captain Lord was eight years younger than Captain Rostron, and I know that they did not attend navigational school together, nor did they apprentice together. Captain Lord, however, did attend navigation school with future Titanic Chief Officer Wilde and the two were acquainted.

It would have been Captain Lord's older brother, James, that Arthur Rostron might have known before going to sea, not Stanley Lord himself, with Stanley being so much younger. Captain Lord's father was a businessman, so it is not entirely impossible to have sent any or all of his six surviving sons to the Bolton School, but I don't know where Captain Lord went to school. At the time of the 1881 Census, Captain Lord's family lived at 9 Hampden St.

Inger Sheil

Both Lord and Rostron attended HMS Conway (though not at the same time), a training ship anchored in the Mersey that produced both Merchant Service and RN Officers. I have some photos somewhere here that I took on the weekend of one of the Conway's anchors. James Moody also finished up his conventional education and began his maritime education in this venerable institution.
Inger: The 1962 MMSA publication, "The Californian Incident: An Echo of the Titanic Disaster" (Captain Lord's affidavit and supporting exhibits) contradicts the assertion of a Lord/Rostron HMS Conway connection.

In Exhibit R -- the August 6, 1912, letter from W.H. Baker to Lord concerning the alleged proximity of the Mount Temple to the sinking Titanic -- Leslie Harrison responds (via footnote) to Baker's opening comments about Lord remembering him from "Old Conway" with the following observation:

"Mr. baker was under a misapprehension, as Captain Lord was not on 'Old Conway'."

While I'd normally be somewhat hesitatant to accept Harrison as a source, this particular "interjection" is as trivial to Lord's defense as it is unexpected. (Plus, Harrison's fervor on Lord's behalf was far more restrained in those early days.) That being the case, I see little reason to suspect the authenticity of the claim.

Have you located subsequent information that supersedes this?

Inger Sheil

That's an intersting one...Brian Ticehurst actually edited a piece I wrote for the BTS magazine to include Lord when I mentioned only Rostron and Moody! I've also had two other individuals more versed in Lord than I am who have corrected me when I've mentioned Moody and Rostron as Old Boys but failed to mention Lord. I'll write off to my contacts in the Conway Association to ask them to clear up the matter once and for all. While the subject of Lord has come up when I've been with them on a couple of occasions, I don't recall whether they ever mentioned he was an old boy himself.

The other way to settle it would be to check his BoT applications, but I'm too cheap to do that ;-)
In his 1959 affidavit Lord only mentions that he went to sea in 1891 as a cadet on Naiad. He was aged about 14 at the time, which was a common age at which to begin. I can't see that he would have been to Conway first.

Inger, I've asked the folk at the Conway site to put in a link to your page about Moody, and it will be done. Can't have them getting fairy tales!

Tracy Smith

Captain Lord's father signed the indenture papers for his apprenticeship on the Naiad in 1891, when Lord was 13 and a half, as Dave said. He served on this ship, and later the Lurlei, during his apprenticeship, and I haven't read of him being on any other ship.

Captain Lord's father only reluctantly signed Lord's papers, as he did not entirely approve of his son's choice of career.

Right now, I'm too poor to check his BoT applications, but want to do so in the future.

Inger Sheil

The dates on his indenture would tend to preclude Lord from having done his two years on the Conway, but will let you know when I receive confirmation from the Conways.

Ta, David! I've been slow in promoting the new site, as we managed to launch it at a rather hectic personal time (why battle bushfires on two fronts when you can battle them on three?).

Was flipping through a Conway history looking for something and found the following which is utterly irrelevant but rather gorgeous:

One of the most hated institutions of the ship was an invention of Captain MIller's - the League. Every new boy was invited to become a member of the League, by taking a solemn pledge to 'avoid all drinking, smoking, swearing and impurity while he remained on board.' Most boys joined this League in order to avoid giving offence or making a bad impression at the commencement of their careers. Some, who had the strength of mind to refuse to join, felt that they were marked men from that moment. From time to time, generally once or twice in a term, the members of the league were piped to muster in the forward hospital to listen to an exhortation to remember the solemnity of their promises. On being dismissed from one of these dreadful gatherings all who could, smoked, swore and were impure.

There's a wonderful photo in a private collection of the cadets of James Moody's watch lined up on the Conway's deck. They tend to go in two even rows, until you reach Moody - who stands head and shoulders above his peers already!

Inger Sheil

Here's the response from one of the men most well acquainted with the Conway's history, David Fletcher-Rogers:

No Lord was not a Conway I think the rumour arose because the Mercantile Martine Service Association (MMSA) supported Lord in his endeavours to clear his name and the Conway was run by this organisation.

The misapprehension that Lord was an Old Conway seems to pre-date this, however. As an aside, I've encountered a vast spectrum of opinion regarding Lord among the Conways - many of whom knew Leslie Harrison quite well.
Inger: Thanks for that confirmation. I'd have to agree with Dave that the purported association likely derives from Baker's misunderstanding, as previously uncorrected (until Harrison's 1962 amendment). That Baker letter seems to have "made the rounds" in 1912 (including at least mention of its contents to Rostron by Lord in correspondence), since it ostensibly supported the allegations against the Mount Temple. Lord himself may have felt that the "Old Conway" reference was in fact fairly trivial, not significant enough to correct outright initially. (And after all, the "meat" of the letter was Baker's assertion that the Mount Temple had been in *close* proximity to the sinking Titanic. If I were Lord, I'm not sure I'd look a "gift horse" like that in the mouth, either.)

OK. Speaking of this very hard to come by book -- and several others, including Lightoller's complete work (and even the fairly recent books of Reade and Harrison!) -- has anyone ever looked into the possibility of "commissioning" a reprint of an "out of print" work? Is this ever done, where an individual or corporation partly finances a publisher's re-printing of a title (and receives a percentage of the profits in remuneration)?

It *seems* at least a workable scheme, if publishers are open to the notion; what would they have to lose if the market risks are largely offset by others? (But don't look at me, I'm broke.) :-(

I'm just curious if anyone has ever pursued or heard of this approach.
Sorry John, didn’t notice your question earlier and have been prompted into a response by the long anticipated arrival of my very own copy of the Rostron book. Battered, tattered and threadbare it may be, but all the pages are intact and that’s really all I care about at this point.

Would you believe reprints of obscure/rare works is a subject I’ve considered before? Well maybe not, but I’m sure others would. Anyway, one of the main issues with republishing/reprinting out of print works is the murky area of copyright and royalties. Then there’s the price of the potentially limited print run balanced against cost effectiveness.

My understanding is that Amereon (sp?) House and 7 C’s Press (working with THS) specialise in reprints of out-of-print Titanica, but I’m not sure how cost effective they are given the prices I’ve paid for some of their publications. A lot of publishers are now moving into ‘Print on Demand’ for their back catalogues too, but in my experience tend to be larger presses (such as Penguin) or the specialised academic/technical presses (such as Queensland University Press). I have also seen instances of corporate subsidy of reprints (my Royal Viking Line special edition of Maxtone-Graham’s ‘The Only Way to Cross’ being such an example) and reprints subsidised by individuals, of works still in copyright.

So, technically your idea has merit and has been done - up to a point. If there were sufficient market interest (or at least potential) and a convincing representation made to an appropriate publisher, there’s no reason a reprint edition wouldn’t work. It would probably come down to who could financially back such a venture and I suspect now the public’s interest is dying down, a genuine market opportunity has gone by. Woe, woe.

Of course, if I ever win a lottery or some such nonsense, I plan to reissue several scarce works for my own amusement.

Cornelius Thiessen

Just curious......is this book of the Captains memoirs available anywhere? Has anyone here read it?I would love to read that book if I could find it.