James Paul Moody

Jan 28, 2003
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Inger, where are you going? Back to Oz? I've always thought the facts about JM were sad, and reading all this makes me think it more so. Of course, the loss of the young is always bad, and I've read that the average age of the steerage passengers was only 27. But the boats needed officers, and it seems tragic that the youngest did not get away. Especially as he sounds rather more proactive than, say, Pitman. And might well have gone back for survivors, as Lowe did.
Re your remarks about seeing the iceberg in time, I recently suggested elsewhere on the board that we could run a computer simulation mimicking the berg blotting out the stars (only sure way to see it with no moon) to discover how close the berg would be when it was obvious to the lookouts. I suggested this because the crew obviously thought they would be able to see it, yet didn't. The suggestion has no takers, on the grounds of wind chill and streaming eyes etc., which I understand. But I suggested it as a benchmark of possibility, and nothing else. I still think it might be worthwhile, but although I can do the maths I can't do the programming any more.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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David, it sounds like an interesting coincidence, but I doubt it's much more than that. 'QM Moody' is a very problematical account but at its core is essentially Hichens (I can't see a scenario where Moody somehow concealed his survival, only to give interviews). He was also very close to certain members of his family, and it was clear from their responses that he was lost - the enduring grief was apparent even to those later generations of the family who did not know James personally. My reading of Boxhall's comment is that Moody happened to be uppermost in his mind when he reeled off the list of names of junior officers on the Carpathia that were helping the Cunard officers - hence his substitution for Lowe, who was not mentioned. You could have good fun with a conspiracy theory, though, as some of the earliest reports had Moody as a survivor (although I shouldn't give encouragement to anyone out there reading this thread).

I am indeed back to Sydney, Monica. Via Ireland, New York and Los Angeles. Yes, Moody's case is particularly poignant. I agree with your remarks in the post above, that there is a very real possibility that he was put to work by one of the senior officers. I've also often wondered if perhaps they intended to send him away in command of 'A', but were simply overwhelmed by time. He was a good swimmer, and might have had faith in his own ability to make it to a lifeboat. He was adept at small boat handling (having learned the 'Conway Style' in the strong Mersey currents), and one wonders what might have been accomplished had he and Lowe been working together in 14 - 16 with the flotilla of boats...but then, he did much work on the decks.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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I hope everyone heeds Inger's advice about conspiracy theories. My view of what my friend told me is that it is a mixed-up version of the truth and nothing more. I had filed it away in the "forgotten" bin until reading of Boxhall's accounts. So, I'm not suggesting any sort of conspiracy. It's just a curiosity at this point to be investigated.

-- David G. Brown
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Heya!

Been busy with uni, glad to hear that you're back in the land of Oz Inger!

I was going through some old stuff and a while ago you mentioned that James said he would have rather 'gone crossing sweeper' than be a bludger. What does 'gone crossing sweeper' mean?

Thanks,

Christa.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Heya Mon!

Bludger is Aussie slang. It refers to a lazy person or someone who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things.

As you can see James would not be the type to be a bludger but I'm curious as to what job he would consider to be bad (though not bad in relation to a bludger) - if you know what I mean!

Christa!
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Tracy Smith

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Bludger is also a word from the Harry Potter Universe, referring the game of Quidditch. If you've seen the second HP movie, you'll remember that Harry was chased by a rogue bludger.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Just flying in for a quick post on a rotten internet connection (great hotel, though) -

Ever thought about who cleaned up the by-products of horses' digestive systems in the days when they were a widely utilised form of transportation? ;)

They swept up the manure from where pedestrians crossed.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Heya Inger,

I just assumed they had people who's job it was to clear it up - kinda like bin men or rubbish collectors of today...it doesn't sound like a very appealing job though!

Could you please tell us what 'gone crossing sweeper' means?

Thanks,

Christa.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Christa - I seem to recall that I promised to look up some JPM photo dates for you in my notes, but unfortunately I can't access the yahoo account you wrote to with the request (at least, I *think* it was you...apologies if it's someone else entirely!).

The date for a similar sailor suit photo is August 1894. It's possible that JPM is a bit younger in the photo on our website, although the outfit seems to be the same.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Ing,

Hi! It was me. The photos in question were the sailor suit one and the one on the front of his biography page.

Did the Moody boys look alike?

Christa.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Glad to hear my memory isn't as faulty as I feared it might be! I was concerned you might take my silence on your email as rudeness.

I have yet to find a date for the photo at the front of the bio page, although as the family has a couple of copies of this one it seems to have been a portrait he was happy to give to friends and family. I'd put his age somewhere in this late teens to about 20, judging from other, dated photos.

There was quite a resemblance between John and James, but Christopher had a different facial shape and was smaller - photos of the two together show James was significantly taller. It was still quite obvious that the three were related, however. They were (and are) a handsome family, both males and females.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Inger,

At the risk of sounding corny, allow me to say that although I was concerned that there was no reply, not once did I believe it was out of rudeness as your reputation precedes you and, drawing from my own interactions with you, it does you justice. Even those you have disagreed with have a certain respect for your knowledge and work.

Thank you for your information on James and his brothers. If I may, what sort of information does your discretion permit you or not permit you to divulge? I ask because I am searching the 1891 census for the Moody family and I cannot find head nor tail of them.

I don't wish to waste your time with questions that you are not at liberty to answer. That is why I ask.

On another train of thought, (last year) you mentioned that you would e-mail me the information/article on Harold Bride's return to England. Have you happened to come across it?

And on a more personal note, how is your book coming along?
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Thank you for the kind words, Christa
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I do sometimes worry that my absentmindedness gives an impression of rudeness if I fail to follow up something I've volunteered to do.

There are certain sensitive private family matters that I don't feel at liberty to discuss. Largely the sense of discretion is based on what seems appropriate to put in the public domain, bearing in mind that this is a family that has maintained its privacy and is not entirely comfortable with some of the more intrusive interest that often surrounds those related to Titanic survivors and victims...which is not to say I think you are being intrusive, but only that I try to err on the side of caution. Although virtually all those I have been in contact with who had family aboard the ship have been exceedingly generous and accomodating, I'm usually a bit hesitant in my own approaches as I don't want to assume to be over-familiar (fortunately, many of these contacts have developed into good friendships). The lines are hazy, though!

I have the 1891 census here somewhere - it's funny you had difficulty with it, because I seem to recall I came across problems when I first tried tracking it down overseas a few years ago. While 1881 posed no problems, 1891 didn't turn up. It wasn't later that Kerri and I located it, which surprised me as the details were essentially the same as the 1881 census - only addition was the four children. I'll see if I can find it and will send you the details.

I still haven't geed up the old laptop to get that Harold Bride article transcript out, but will do so - unless one of the folks I emailed it to can send it to you first if they're reading this?

Book is coming along fine - I've been talking to a few people about it, so hope to have news soon. I just haven't been able to fully focus on it as I've been busy re-establishing myself down here.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Thanks for replying so quickly, Inger. Do you tend to volunteer for so many things that it interrupts your own research?

And thank you also for clarifying what you do and do not feel at liberty to discuss. As to your hesitation (and I understand totally!) about putting certain things on the public domain, if I feel that I have a question that might flirt with the line of sensitivity (and most of mine probably do), should I e-mail you privately or would you like me to post it here and you may reply to it as you will?

Okay, I am on my knees thanking you for offering assistance with the 1891 census because it is driving me up the wall! The one I use is not able to be searched like the 1881 census, you have to look for the address, and this is not as simple as it seems! I have found them on the 1901 census but will have to wait for ages for the 1911 census to come out!

I have a question which is posing me some problems. I was speaking to a lady I know and she mentioned that her hubby was/is a Yorkshireman. Typically, me ears pricked up and I asked her what she meant by her past comment. She asked me if I'd ever heard the phrase 'Dowdy Yorkshireman'. She said that they aren't prone to showing much emotion (affectionate or otherwise). Now, I know that everyone's different but this doesn't seem to fit my image of James Moody at all. Any thoughts?
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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I never mind volunteering to help others, Christa - if the information is easily to hand, it's no skin off my nose to dig it up either in my papers or those to which I have access. If it takes a bit more work, then I often learn something very interesting in the process! And so many people have been so generous in giving me data, generally expecting nothing reciprocal, that it seems a way of passing the good-will on. Unfortunately, I just don't always recall what I've offered to do/copy/send on/look up.

If you think that a topic is general enough to be of interest to the board I have no problem with you asking me here, and I'm equally happy to respond via email. I enjoy the queries, because even if I don't know the answer it can introduce a new angle to consider.

No worries on the 1891 census - this is one request that I will follow through as soon as I log-off, as I'm fairly certain I know where it is. I don't have access to a scanner, so will send it through as a transcript.

LoL! 'Dowdy Yorkshireman'! I've also heard it as 'Dour Yorkshireman', rather like the stereotypical 'dour Scotsman'. It's true that many Yorkshiremen are supposedly taciturn, to say the least, and I have met a few in that mold...usually they're from more rural areas. Scarborough is a resort town, and rather more cosmopolitan atmosphere with a seasonal influx of visitors, particularly in its more fashionable day. The impression I have of James is that he was a very lively character, although I suspect he would have had more conservative attitudes towards emotional displays in public as men did of his era, nationality and class. He had some interesting influences in his early life - his mother was a bright and engaging London girl who seems to have been very affectionate with her children, and in his childhood he would stay with relatives in London, so he had exposure to society outside the North-east part of England.

I have to say that many of the Yorkshiremen and women I've known have been absolutely lovely, warm and extremely generous...the Boxhall and Moody families to this day spring to mind. Although Boxhall's closest living relative now lives elsewhere, when I've commented on her exceptionally generous, warm hospitality, she has attributed it to being a Yorkshire girl and has often spoken of similar hospitality she associates with Yorkshire.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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LOL! Okay, okay! It probably was 'dour' as I fear that I didn't hear her right!

...The impression I have of James is that he was a very lively character, although I suspect he would have had more conservative attitudes towards emotional displays in public as men did of his era, nationality and class...

I'm glad you said this as I was having trouble seeing this smiling, energetic guy (although he doesn't smile in pictures, when he comes to my mind he's always smiling) as a stern, frowning man.

It's very interesting that the Yorkshire lady considers this characteristic very common to Yorkshire - the complete opposite of that quote! I suppose it's like saying 'redneck Americans'; it most probably, if ever, refers to the rural areas.

Okay, Time Out:
I'd like to take this opportunity to say to everyone that just read that and is about to cane me "I didn't mean that Americans are red necks - far from it - it is just a phrase I've heard and I thought it was a good analogy". *Please take note of the peace-making smile*

Time In:
Inger, I like your attitude towards helping others with things you've already dug up and answering queries (and not just because it helps me!). In the past I have been very hesitant about asking people about these things as I thought it would seem a bother but the more I do it the more I seem to tap into people's passions - and that makes for most interesting conversations!

I was rummaging through some of the old threads and you said somewhere something about one of the Moodys travelling very far from home. Common questions come to mind like who? when? where? and why? I put these all down but you may answer any (or none) of them at your leisure.

(a note to everyone is to go through these old threads because you come up with some interesting facts - and fiction - that you never knew existed)

I also came across a veeeerrrrrry long post between you and Senan playing Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with Titanic questions - Now that would be an interesting quiz night!
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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G'day!

I've sent through that Census information - let me know if you have any troubles receiving it.

He certainly doesn't come across as dour, does he? The impressions of his colleagues on the Conway recalled him as mischievous and full of fun, and that tallies with the family information. You do meet a few rather silent Yorkshiremen who will respond with a grunt or a sole 'Aye', though!

You're right about how people enjoy interacting with others and sharing their knowledge...I'm over the initial surprise of just how generous folks are, but every now and then someone does something extraordinarily helpful, expecting nothing in return but your own enjoyment and appreciation, and it hits me anew.

I'd have to look up what I was referring to in that thread, but I suspect it was John who travelled extensively from an early age when he went off to the Boer War. Even James commented in a letter how restless his oldest brother was. Margaret travelled quite a bit as well - they seem to have enjoyed travel.

I'd forgotten about the 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' thread...! One of these days we should organise a quiz night along those lines.