Lowe's Attitude towards Younger Passengers

Ben Lemmon

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Oct 9, 2009
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I thought I'd put this up here for discussion. From what I read in other topics on H.G. Lowe, I've come to assume (I know, bad word) that he was a good guy and was nice to the passengers under his care. What I wonder, though, is how he felt towards the littler ones. If he met a child (person under 12, in this regard) somehow during the voyage, how would he have interacted with him, if he had had the time, though I doubt he did. Anyway, any information would be appreciated.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Interesting question, Ben.

In later life, when he had children of his own, he didn't really relate that well to them until they were of an age that he could really engage with them - mainly through sharing his interests of sailing, fishing and hunting. He was kind, but somewhat distant (possibly because he was away at war when his two children were born and absent for long periods when they were younger).

If a child showed an intelligent interest in seafaring matters, I think they'd engage his attention. He always did rather enjoy expounding on his professional skills.

He was a firm disciplinarian in later life, so I suspect had distinct ideas about how children should behave on board ship...although after giving his son a dressing down on one occasion for taking a boat out in challenging conditions, he later admitted he himself had done precisely the same thing as a boy.

So if you want to depict Lowe in a sympathetic interaction with a younger person, I'd make them well behaved and interested in some task Lowe was performing...although I know that many crewmen did become tired of what the called the game of "Ask the Officer" (Bissett has some great sample questions that passengers asked).
 

Shea Sweeney

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Apr 1, 2007
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To add something onto this is from the incident as Lifeboat No. 14. There was a rush on the lifeboat as it lowered down along the side of the ship and as Lowe would later testify, he called out as a warning "If any man tries that again this is what he gets!" before firing three shots along the side of the foundering vessel with his Browning Automatic. After that, it is reported a young girl tugged his jacket and pleaded "Oh Mr. Man, please don't shoot!" The best Lowe could do was give a weak smile and put the pistol away. This was reported in ANTR by Walter Lord. Now my way of thinking is, even if this was true, that this would be the reaction of anyone in that situation and would not mean whether or not the person liked kids. Just thought I'd throw it out there though. I must say, interesting topic Ben.
 

Inger Sheil

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That's a good point, Shea - young Marjorie Collyer's appeal certainly did touch Lowe. He later spoke about it to another surviving passenger, saying he would "never forget" her actions and what she said. According to the original account by Charlotte Collyer (which is possibly "enhanced" a bit by her editors for publication) it wasn't a weak smile that Lowe gave, but rather what she describes is him taking a moment to give little Marjorie a reassuring smile, then putting the gun away and trying another approach.
 

Jenn Richards

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May 16, 2008
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Hi, this is my first post, i hope im doing everything right. what attitude would the other officers have for kids. thank u
-jenn
 

Shea Sweeney

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Apr 1, 2007
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Jenn,

My only recommendation would be to use proper grammar as it is the norm on this board. Other than that you are doing everything right and welcome!

To answer your question, it depends on the officers themselves. They were professional seamen so did not need to fratenize with kids as they sailed because it was not in their job duties to be the sociable one; Captain Smith took on that aspect.

However, several of the Titanic's officers had children of their own waiting for them back in England. Captain Smith had a teenage daughter, Helen, and Chief Officer Henry Wilde had some kids as well - though I think at the time of the Titanic they were young adults. Second Officer Charles Lightoller had two boys, Roger and Trevor, ages 4 and 2 (I'm pretty sure I've got that right). So perhaps those men were more kind towards chilren onboard.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo Jenn - welcome to the board.

There isn't too much specific information about how individual officers interacted with children aboard ship. It is possible to extrapolate from what we know of their behaviour ashore with their families, but we should keep in mind that people can behave differently in their personal and professional lives.

As Shea points out, both Wilde and Lightoller already had children. While I don't really have any specific anecdotes about Wilde's interactions with his rather large family, the impression handed down within the family is one of warmth. Lightoller's relationships with his children are depicted in Stenson, and what I've heard from others who visited the Lightollers reinforces the idea of a warm, rather boisterous family environment. His habit of command at sea did rather carry over into his private life, however - one of his grandsons who has very happy memories of his grandfather told me about how strict he could be about getting out of bed and organised to go boating. In this respect he reminds me of Lowe.

Of the others, you're probably familiar with the stories about Captain Smith's family. None of the others, save Lowe (who we've already discussed) had children. This is rather a pit in Boxhall's case, as he was fond of them and was very close to his niece and grandnieces and nephews - they speak of him with tremendous affection. There are some absolutely charming photographs of him playing with them as children, and one great niece said he was like a teddybear. His niece told me that she thought his dogs were also substitute children for the Boxhalls.

James Moody was a young man himself, but he got along very well with his younger cousins. He was able to spend Christmas with them one year when they came down to where his ship was berthed, and one even spent a night aboard with James.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>My only recommendation would be to use proper grammar as it is the norm on this board.<<

Was there improper grammar used? It seems to me in this age of text messaging, grammatical standards and spelling are being unofficially re-written. The key thing is concise information transfer. As for me, as long as what is written is easily understood, I'm fine with. This is, after all, just a message board.
 
A

Alyson Jones

Guest
I just want to add my two cents here!
In the Titanic's officer's era right, wern't men just the bread winner while the women did all the caring for the children,if so the officer's of the Titanic would not of been much invovled with there Children.

Regrads
 
Dec 5, 2008
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>> I just want to add my two cents here!
In the Titanic's officer's era right, wern't men just the bread winner while the women did all the caring for the children,if so the officer's of the Titanic would not of been much invovled with there Children. <<

I think that all comes down to context, and each man's personal relationship with his children.

Just like today there are some men who are more involved with their families than others, and unfortunately, because there are so many stereotypes associated with the Victorian era, the majority of people are left with the completely wrong impression. True, men were the bread winners and woman were homemakers doing most of the day to day care associated with their children, but it didn't mean that men weren't involved or didn't love their children any less than they do today. If anything, its my personal opinion that the Victorian's were even more involved in their children's lives than today.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
If the Titanic's officers were a bit distant from any of their children, it was most likely as a consequence of a career at sea which kept them away from home. It's one of the more unfortunate aspects of a maritime career which hasn't changed much over the past century. At least with the advent of powered vessels, seperations from familiy were measured in terms of weeks or even months instead of for several years at a stretch during the age of sail.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Yes, like with Harold Lowe (from what I've heard from Inger). But then again I've always had the distinct impression with the Wilde's and Lightoller's that there was a definite sense of warmth there, so again, I think it comes down to the man as much as the career.