How Did Officer Moody Die

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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Inger,

After some further review, I hate to admit that I wrong but at the same time I am right. It was belived that one of the other Officers was Wilde, but Hemmings and Lightoller both saw Murdoch and who is believed to be Wilde or the Chief Purser. Speaking of which, do you have any information on his where abouts. I think I pulled some of what I called information on Wilde and Moody from a story that I heard, from a fellow Captain who is now passed. His wife says that his father was on Titanic but I can't seem to find the name. I did trace the audio back to a rather shabbely put together documentary from the discovery channel and it was not Lightoller, but Walter Lord who "believed" if Lightoller had seen Murdoch then he saw Moody and Wilde. If you could tell me about the Chief Purser Mcelroy.
 

Erik Wood

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Inger,
I just finished looking up another resource. Which is the book by Geoffrey Marcus called the Maiden Voyage. In this book there is not time given but the following is said.

"..Wilde's effforts to avert panic, maintain order and discipline, and get the last of the boats loaded and lowered to the water were valiantly supported by the youngest of the officers, James Moody. Long before this, the latter should by rights have gone away in one of the boats along with the other junior officers. But the seamen left on board were all to few as it was for the work that had to be done. Moody therefore stayed with the ship to the end..."
So that puts him with Wilde which would make sense but lacks a accurate time and I am still looking if Marcus is a crediable source. Using Seamans logic and knowledge of protocal that would mean the if Wilde was with Murdoch and the Mcelroy then Moody would have been in the vicinity. Just a thought. Very hastily researched as you can tell this source was easy to find.
Erik
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo, Erik!

Re the Marcus passage: Unfortunately, Marcus does not footnote these paragraphs, so his source cannot be determined. In the paragraph immediately preceding the references to Wilde and Moody, however, Marcus discusses the loading and lowering of 13 and 15 - Moody *can* be defintely placed at these aft starboard boats, and Wilde was in the area. It is perhaps these boats to which Marcus refers.

I have tremendous respect for Marcus as a researcher - he contacted not only survivors, but the families of those who perished - including the Murdoch, Moody and Wilde families. However, I've reviewed his correspondence with the Moodys, and there is no reference to him having found some new source that indicates that Wilde and Moody were working together at the very end - nor is there any such tradition surviving in the Moody family as far as I have been informed.

Inger
 

Inger Sheil

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I've just reviewed Lightoller's and Hemming's accounts (both inquiries, interview and memoirs) and can find no reference to either seeing Wilde at the forward end of the boat deck working on 'A'. McElroy's whereabouts are another matter. I don't wish to seem pedantic on this point, but Wilde's actions at the end have been a matter of some considerable discussion. If a first hand account placing Wilde at 'A' could be discovered, it would be a matter of great interest to researchers.

Regards,

Inger
 

Erik Wood

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I have heard it rumored that maybe McElroy instead of Murdoch is the one who committed suicide so would that not place him in the general area. Just a thought. Plus I was discussing this situation with some fellow historians most of whom are in to both the Titanic and the Lusitania. It is there opinion that Murdoch and Wilde have been confused by some. That is very possible seeing as Murdoch was the Chief until Southampton. However, in most Titanic discussion groups it is generaly thought that Murdoch and Wilde where together and I guess I would use Marcus research to place Moody in the vicinity. He isn't really seen anywhere aft of the officers quarters. Is he?
 

Erik Wood

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Inger

It is either Marcus, or the CPOE that states that " He (Moody) was last seen about 2:18am by Second Officer Lightoller trying to launch the collapsible boats.". Well that puts him starboard side being Lightoller on the port. Now that time is shortly after Wilde ordered Lightoller into the boat and Lightoller refused. Which still doesn't account for Wilde but using logic he (Wilde) is probably on his way or already starboard side with Murdoch. Which places the three of them together or in the general area of each other. Some of this is research but some is using detective work along with the reasearch to try to figure out what happened. What are your thoughts on this.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Inger - I've been thru the inquiries too, no reference to Wilde at A.

As far as the 'rumor' that it was McElroy who committed suicide, I have not run across a source saying he did. However, there is a source that says Murdoch fired shots at a starboard collapsible - Jack's Thayer's 1940 telling of his experiences. Thayer did NOT say McElroy committed suicide.
 

George Behe

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Bill Wormstedt wrote:

>As far as the 'rumor' that it was McElroy who >committed suicide, I have
>not run across a source saying he did. However, >there is a source that
>says Murdoch fired shots at a starboard >collapsible - Jack's Thayer's
>1940 telling of his experiences.

Hi, Bill!

I think you meant to say that Thayer claimed *McElroy* fired shots at the collapsible.

However, on a separate note, we must remember that Thayer wrote his account 28 years after the disaster, and a lot of misremembered 'facts' can enter a person's story in that length of time. (Just look at Lightoller's book, which was written *before* Thayer's account.) No 1912 accounts mentioned McElroy firing any shots, and (for what it's worth) I seriously doubt that Thayer's memory of this event was accurate.

All my best,

George
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Thanks for correcting me, George - you're right.

He's also right that Thayer's account being 28 years later. Thayer's 1912 accounts that I've seen do NOT mention McElroy shooting anyone.
 

Erik Wood

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Bill, Geoge,

I think you missed my point. Inger said that Moody could not be placed on the starboard side, Which is where Murdoch was "near" the end. I say near because I am talking of right around the plunge. Lightoller seeing this above the Officer Quarters one would assume they where in close proximity. Now I am a Captain of a Passenger ship. I would assume that Moody being most junior would have been assiting with the lowering. I found research that Lightoller saw him (Moody) with Murdoch around 2:18am. We (Inger and myself) had also being discussing the fate of Wilde. I believe that after Lightoller got the boat that Wilde had ordered him into, in the water. Wilde went to the Starboard side to assist Murdoch and Moody. Now Lightoller does not say that he saw Wilde but does say that he saw Murdoch and Moody trying to free the collapsible the references are above. McElroy was just a theory I had heard on the discovery channel. Plus on numerous web sites. Do have any info on the above?

Erik
 

Inger Sheil

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Um...Erik? I never said that Moody couldn't be placed on the Starboard side. I have no reason to doubt Moody was where Hemming placed him - working at collapsible A. I have merely pointed out that the source alleging he was sighted with a head injury has been debunked. Also, there is no evidence that Lightoller saw Moody there - indeed, he categorically stated that he did not. However, he did state that he had heard later that Moody was working on 'A' with Murdoch.

No eyewitness report has been identified that places Wilde at 'A'. Quite possibly he was there - we can only directly place Moody there through Hemming's testimony, for example. However, this must clearly be identified as conjecture in light of the lack of witness statements.

All the best,

Inger
 
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Inger Sheil

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Hallo, Erik -

Re Wilde's movements - does the timeframe for your question He isn't really seen anywhere aft of the officers quarters. Is he? refer to the entire evacuation? Off hand, I can think of a few instances where Wilde was seen working aft on the boats. Joughlin places him at No. 10 and Scarrott said that it was Wilde who ordered woman and children into No. 14. Scarrott also mentioned that Wilde had ordered him to go to No. 14 while he was assisting at No. 13.

Regards,

Inger
 

Erik Wood

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Inger,

Then why would the CPOE (crew particulars of engagement, which is concluded by the admiraly as well as the EBOT)say that Lightoller saw Moody there at 2:18am. The Head Injury is more of a theory which a lot of this is as well. I am currently ran sacking the BBOQ as well as the American one plus both Lightoller and Gracie's book to get you paragraph numbers and page numbers. This could be an opinion, but Lightoller stuck to his word that he say Murdoch trying to launch boats and they he (Murdoch did not commit suicide). I guess I am trying to piece the holes together and there are far to many to plug. Holes in evidence and testimony. Plus the coffee stains on papers. I do apologize, I had mis read your post and assumed that you meant that Moody was not starboard side. Let's see if we can't figure this out.

Erik
 

Tommy

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Is it known what happened to Officer Moody?

[Moderator's note: This message, originally posted to an unrelated thread, has been moved to this thread addressing Moody's death. MAB]
 
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Matteo Eyre

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I don't think it is known but i think there are only 2 real options, he either froze to death in the freezing water or was pulled under by suction like Lightoller but didn't get blown to the surface
Matteo :)
 
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Katy Phillips

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Theoretically, he could have died some debris-related death as well. A pity, as young as he was. I always found it curious he didn't somehow end up ordered into a lifeboat. Could a senior officer have ordered him to go?
 

Matteo Eyre

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It would have been possible for this to happen as i believe, and correct me if i'm wrong that Boxhall was ordered into boat number 2 by Lightoller, he did have an opportunity to go in a boat. boat 14, but he told Lowe to take his place, his original placing was boat 16 which he helped load and lower but i don't know why he wasn't saved in that
Hope this helps
Matteo :)
 
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It would have been possible for this to happen as i believe, and correct me if i'm wrong that Boxhall was ordered into boat number 2 by Lightoller, he did have an opportunity to go in a boat. boat 14, but he told Lowe to take his place, his original placing was boat 16 which he helped load and lower but i don't know why he wasn't saved in that
Hope this helps
Matteo :)
Boxhall was ordered into No. 2 by Captain Smith. Lightoller has nothing to do with the loading of boat No. 2, it was Wilde and Smith.
According to Lowe he was loading No. 14 and Moody No. 16 and then Lowe mentioned that an officer should go and Moody said to Lowe to go and he would follow with another boat.
 

Matteo Eyre

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My apologies i wasn't certain as to who it was, yes that convo did happen and Moody could just as easily have joined Lowe in the boat or enquired as to whether he could board a lifeboat, but he chose not to, a hero to the end
Matteo :)