Lowe Press & the US

Feb 9, 2008
Hello all! An ET newbie here : )

Of the various topics that one can cover concerning the Titanic tragedy, the lives and backgrounds of the Titanic's deck officers has intrigued me most. I have found Encyclopedia Titanica to be the most rewarding in obtaining such information and - having been catching up on my reading - I have developed a few questions that I was hoping someone could help me with.

I have actually spoken to Ms. Sheil through the Titanic-Titanic board and e-mail concerning Harold Lowe, her upcoming book and her recent article in Signals (which was fantastic by the way)... Perhaps you could help me out Inger?

First, I have read more than once of a particular incident in which the officers were signing a hotel guestbook after their arrival in the States. The story goes that when Lowe stepped "up to the plate" to sign his name, he became fairly annoyed with the press who rudely attempted to look over his shoulder and catch his name. As a result, he told them something along the lines of 'were they back in England, they'd get a good punch [in the face? nose?] for attempting to look at the guest book...' Did this actually happen?

Also, I was wondering if any of the surviving officers ever returned to the United States? I know that Lowe went on to spend a great deal of his career traveling routes to Australia and Africa and serving in the RNR. Seeing as he had somewhat of a rough time of it in the States immediately following the disaster (with the press, his retraction with the Italian Embassy, his exchanges with Smith throughout the hearings, etc...), I was curious as to whether he (and the other officers too) ever returned to the US whether for business or pleasure?

Thanks to everyone in advance for the help!

All the best, Tessa

Inger Sheil

Dec 3, 2000
Hallo Tessa - good to see you here!

According to a newspaper report of the time, the incident over the hotel register did happen. I'm about to head off on holidays, but send an email to my work address in a couple of weeks and I'll send you the account.

All the Titanic officers returned to the US (and to New York specifically) fairly frequently throughout the remainder of their careers. Lowe made his first return after WWI, and spent much of the remainder of his career alternating between the Canadian and Australian/NZ runs, but with a few returns to the US. His son told me that he quite liked America - he regarded it as a young nation with a vast future ahead of it - and he had friends there.

Hope this helps -


Feb 9, 2008
Thanks Inger!

I will drop you a line in a few weeks concerning Lowe's "press incident." Knowing that actually happened makes him all the more intriguing and likable to me... such a vivid personality.

Glad to hear Lowe's post-Titanic experiences didn't deter him from further exploring/liking the country. Given some of the situations he found himself in, I suppose I wouldn't have blamed him had he not. I recall from your article he'd taken runs to Canada/the US, though I wasn't entirely sure how much time he spent there and just how much he'd favor those given his history there.

I wonder, given that the Titanic crossing was his first trans-atlantic crossing, just how difficult it was for him to take that route a second time. I'm sure it had to be somewhat hard emotionally, though he appears to have been a tough fellow.

Thanks again for the help Inger! Hope you enjoy your holidays! I am off myself to seek warmer weather in Florida for a bit : )

Best wishes, Tessa