Sixth Officer James Moody

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Devan Robertson

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Hello, I am wondering on the amount of information dedicated to the titanic's sixth officer. I am a knowledgable expert on Titanic and my favourite thing about it is sixth officer moody, i have gained a immense knowledge on him and the titanic and i don't think that nearly enough time is devoted to the officer that gave his life in the hopes of saving another..if anyone has any info on the whereabouts of informatio or anyone likes sixth officer moody as much as I do then feel free to contact me.....


Devan Robertson
 
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devan Robertson

Guest
and another thing..all these "eye witness "acounts ofwhat happend to Moody seem to be usless, Lightoller said he saw him near the end but I dontthink it would be like Moody to run away at the last minute..He was the only junior among smith,wilde,murdoch and lightoller nearthe bridge,, he must of had a more important role...i dont think his body was recovered anyways but i think there may be a little mystery here

Devan
 
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Devan Robertson

Guest
Cook, Thanks for that page, It was one of the best sources I could find it gave me alot of information
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 27, 2000
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Glad to be of help. Usually, Inger (one of the researchers on that page) is here herself; she should show up shortly. She is a VERY thorough and passionate researcher.

Best regards,
Cook
 
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Devan Robertson

Guest
wow, really,if you talk to her while i aint here tell herto look for me would you? thankx alot\

Devan
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Cook and Devan -

I haven't posted before because I've been taking a break up in Scarbro' - stomping ground of you-know-who :)

I agree, Devan - James Moody is one of the more interesting figures of that night, and his role is undervalued.

Lightoller did not say that he saw Moody near the end - indeed, at the British Inquiry he stated that he had not seen Moody during the entire evacuation. The last reliable sighting I have been able to find is that of Samual Hemming, who had a brief exchange with Moody at A.

The site Cook kindly referred you to has not been updated as late, and I do not anticipate adding any unpublished material to it - the plagiarists have finally beaten me.

Please feel free to contact me privately, as I'm always willing to discuss the Titanic's Sixth Officer.

Regards,

Inger Sheil
 
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devan Robertson

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Inger...

Hey, I can see that we are indisputably agreed on the fact that James Moody's role in the titanic's evacuationis was tremendously vital to the outcome of survivors..I have spent countless hours when I was a little younger researching the titanic and peticularly James Moody...Whjen people I know ask me what my favourite thing about Titanic is I immediatly reply..Sixth officer james Moody. I dont know if James Moody is your favourite titanic figure but he is certainly mine, As for the information thank you, it will help me to find the final truth to what happend to him, its a little sweet cause I have a picture of Samuel hemmings grave ste in halifax, its really sweet! for now...

Devan
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Devan -

I don't know if I've ever ranked those associated with the Titanic disaster to the point where I'd say I had a 'favourite', but I certainly do have a softspot for James Moody. In learning about him it would be difficult not to become fond of the young man - he was bright, good humoured, had a very engaging sense of humour and was popular with his contemporaries. This is aside from his actions during the sinking. I don't use the term 'hero' much any more - it has become devalued in an age when even a sportsman can earn that accolade simply for playing well - but I have a tremendous admiration for the simple dignity and devotion to duty he exhibited during the evacuation, even to the point of refusing an offer, and even an order, to leave the ship in a lifeboat.

What interests me more than his role in the Titanic disaster, however, is his life prior to boarding the ship. His early days in sail and his career in steam are fascinating. He will always be popular - and somewhat romanticised. After all, the figure of the drowned youth is a recurring motiff in legend, poetry and literature - Leander through to Shelly. He was the stuff of which legends are made - he had youth, beauty (pre-Raphaelite good looks that would not look out of place in one of the Rossetti or Burne-Jones designs for the church of St Martins on the Hill in Scarbro', where his memorial plaque is placed...the photos in Titanic literature don't do him justice), and he came to a tragic early death. A life full of unexplored potential...the stuff of which romantic myths are made.

The reality of James Moody is, IMHO, far more engaging then the stylised figure of myth. Much more earthy, more warm, more human.

I wish you the best with your research into James Moody - he's not only a rewarding study, he is a wonderful personality to become acquainted with.

Inger
 
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Devan Robertson

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Inger...

I can see that your emotional dedication can be expressed rather better than me, I agree thatI have immense sentimental feelings towards him for what he did that night butit comes out rather difficultly. I agree 100%that his actions and life are shadowed by the giant figures on the titanic butI wish someday that the real truth about the real heros come out..Moody felt that he was more valuable on the sinking liner rather than commanding a pitiful amountof seamen and women across the north atlantic, he acted with complet professionalism and displayed a sense of emotional strongness to the officers and passangers. He was one of the officers that filled the lifeboats to almost their complete capasity because he felt that at that that dark hour the usefuk yet pitiful resources had to be utilized to thier full potential. It is a little strange but I have some similarities with James Moody, we both display a humouristic character presumably everywhere, we both are interest and dedicated to the field of nauticle studies for a professional career and we both have some psyhical resemblences (which is strange seeing that we were in different centuries). As ofr furthur research I have none left to do, I have aced and mastered ALL knowledge conserning him and completly most if the titanic. If you wush to attempt to bring some new information on me it would be welcomed. I am currently employd partialy at bc ferries as a junior deck officer..which i value and act on by James Moody's past. I consider him my most cherished mentore for the restof my life, I say that with complete honesty and proudness. If you wish to continue our discussion I would be more than accepting

Yours

Devan Robertson

p.s -when I meant "favourite" I was simply saying taht I belived his actions and bravery was most displayed among the whole crew. I didnt wanna sound childish when I said favourite
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Devan -

I don't think you sounded 'childish' when you said he was a favourite of yours - I took the meaning of what you were expressing, and my comments weren't particularly directed at you :)I always run the risk, when expressing a strong admiration for any of the figures involved (particularly male figures) of being accused of an infatuation with them. Don't laugh - it has happened before.

I'm fairly conversant with most of the public domain resources regarding Moody's role in the Titanic disaster, and also a few private sources that address the same period of his life. There are still a few more leads to track down in this area, and Kerri and I will be using some of the previously unpublished material in our work on Lowe.

You do have more practical, hands on knowledge of seamanship than I do, which would stand you in good stead in understanding many aspects of the disaster. The reasons why Moody wound up at sea, and his attitude to his career, are quite complex.

I agree that he acted with a consumate professionalism that can only engender a deep respect. He certainly could have left, and no one would have questioned the departure of the youngest, most junior officer on board leaving in response to a command - Marcus' words in "The Maiden Voyage" on this point are particularly powerful.

I don't think we'll ever know exactly why he remained on board. Possibly he did intend to get in another boat, and a senior officer (perhaps Wilde, who seems to have been overseeing the distribution of manpower, or Murdoch with whom he worked at the aft starboard boats) set him to work elsewhere. Possibly his seniors intended to send him away in "A", and time - and the sea - overwhelmed them. Possibly, too, he simply remained because he felt it was the right thing to do.

While we can't answer these questions definitively, we can look at the final result...and it is on this that Moody's actions must be assessed, as we have no way of really judging his motivations. He remained on duty to the end, and the last time we 'see' him, he was still fighting to save lives. That's a powerful final legacy.

From the cold perspective of the researcher, we lost a unique viewpoint when Moody - in the words of a superb play on the Titanic disaster - 'chose to remain behind'. He had been aboard the ship from Belfast, he was on watch during the collision, he was many places on the boatdeck (and elsewhere) during the sinking, and was active throughout the evacuation. He also had very sharp observational skills and a very lucid style of communication.

As a person I like him very much for his charm of character. As a man, I admire and respect him.

Best wishes,

Inger
 
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Decvan Robertson

Guest
Inger...

yes It is true that I have more hands on knowledge but I feel that my skills on the knowledge of titanic is just a strong..I will write a longerand more heartfelt letter later...

Best Wishes, talk to you later

Devan
 
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Devan Robertson

Guest
Inger....

I have researched Moody's past considerably and ahve probaly found most of the info that here is, I ownt go into the whole list but if you know anyother ppl who are fasinated expertson jamesmoody as much as I am feel free to have them contact me

yours

Devan
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Devan -

Oh, I think there are substantial gaps in our knowledge of Moody's movements that night. For example, what's your take on his movements between when he ordered Olliver to get out the lifeboat lists and when he began overseeing the uncovering of the lifeboats? I'd like to see if your theory accords with my own.

What about his movements between loading the aft starboard boats and when he was last seen at A?

There's a good deal of fodder there for investigation, and it's such an interesting and involved topic. I've spent a few years on this now and, while I've worked hard to establish a rough skeleton outline of his movements, I'm still seeking out confirmation and elaboration on his actions. I always try to approach this with the assumption that there's more to be learned - too often I've seen what was assumed to be a dead end turn out to be a great lead.

Best wishes,

Inger
 
Jun 18, 2007
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What is it about James Moody that has more than a few people devoted followers? Everytime I turn around, another person pops up who is fascinated by him! It has to be more than the "drowned youth" figure that Inger referred to, though that is the initial attraction for some. But what is it that keeps one interested in him?

I'll just say this: Anyone who refers to a ship as "the big omnibus" (and it was, let's face it), and states " 'Daddy Haddock' is going to the Olympic until old 'E.J.' retires on his old age pension from the Titanic..." is one-of-a-kind. Wonderful, funny, a bright light in an often dark universe. And by staying on the ship that light was extinguished. And nobody or nothing since has ever been able to shine as brightly.
 
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Devan Robertson

Guest
Inger...

much like you I have spent many years expanding research into the untold myths which happend that night, Moody's actions may not have been so "important" enough to the other members on th ecrew seeing that he was the most junior and youngest officer, which is simply not true!!

I belive that many events occured between those two paticular moments, but I think that Moody was ordered to lower the aft PORT boats instead of startboard, He was in charge of lowering lifeboats #13 & 16 which were entirerly under his commande. He also assisted with the lowering of lifeboats # 6,9,10 and 11.(where many other events ahppend) we all know he did that as well as have a breif conversation with Lowe where he assured Lowe he'd enter another boat. when all the boats were lowered and the only left were the collapsibles A and B he immediatly went and aided in lowering A where he thouhgt it wouldbe better to let the boat float off rather than hook up the davits but by the time he was going to suggest it it was all ready benig hooked up. He then (in my opinion) continued to lower A until it was free, I belive that he was thrown into the water and sucked under water or stayed with the ship until it plunged to the sea, there are many other possibilities that I have considered and we may perhaps never know


Yours

Devan
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Devan!

Thank you for your response. I was aware that Moody worked at the aft port boats and that this is where his encounter with Lowe took place - in addition to the versions Lowe gave at both inquiries, I have another recounting of this incident given by the Fifth Officer that has not been published.

In order to reconstruct Moody's movements on the boat deck I compared the boats he was reported to have assisted at against the Behe/Wormstedt timeline. What this seemed to reveal was that Moody was progressing around the boat deck in a logical manner - i.e. he went aft to the port boats, assisted loading them, then crossed to the aft starboard boats, and then walked forward to collapsible "A".

My question pertained more to his movements between when he is clearly reported at 13 by Lee and when he was seen by Hemming at "A". There are, to my knowledge, no reports of him assisting at either C or D (although this could be due more to lack of extant data on this point than anything else - information that places him at "A" is derived from Hemming and from Lightoller said he had heard - possibly also from Hemming). Was he already working on the roof of the Officer's quarters on "A"? If he wasn't, then where was he?

There's still a lot of interesting information to be gleaned on the last few hours of Moody's life...as I mentioned, Kerri and I have been following up some intriguing leads on his actions between the collision and when he began to work on the lifeboats.

There are also many questions that are - and almost certainly always will be - unanswerable. In the absence of surviving senior officers who spoke to him (Lowe was the last to report seeing him, and Pitman and Boxhall only referred to encounters with him early during the crisis), we are left with no real data to determine how many of his actions were in response to direct orders and how many he undertook on his own initiative. For all we know, Murdoch or Wilde might have intended to send him away in "A", or he might have indeed intended to leave in another boat as he had said he intended to do, only to be overwhelmed by events.

There are some terribly poignant and powerful impressions left by survivors, however - Lee, who provided a brief physical description rare in survivor accounts. Jessop, who would write later of Moody's attempts to induce non-English speaking passengers to enter the boats. And to my mind one of the most haunting exchanges of that night - Moody's words to Lowe when Lowe offered him the chance to leave in either 14 or 16.

At any rate, keep up the comments and the dialogue - the surface has barely been scratched in regards to the potential for discussion on the youngest officer.

Best wishes,

Inger
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Kritina!

Yes, he does seem to have garnered his own strong 'following', doesn't he? Of course I agree that there's more to his popularity than simply the fact the drowned (or perished of hypothermia or debris-related injuries) - after all, I think we're all too aware of the fact that he was not the only person who met that fate that night. His youth and Edwardian Poster-child good looks are a factor, however. Even after the disaster his handsome visage was used in many publications...not so much because anything was known of his actions other than the fact that he perished in the wreck but (or at least this is the impression I gained) because he looked the part of an ideal ship's officer - cool, handsome, stoic...

Youth and beauty lend a certain glamour to events that were simply starkly, brutally cruel. It was a comfort to his family that Moody conducted himself with great courage, competence and dignity, but it was small recompense for losing him. As Cameron and his 'Jack Dawson' showed us anything, it's that some people will become enthralled with the idea of tragic, noble death -
all the more so when the person meeting their tragic and noble end is beautiful.

What others have realised, however, is that there was more to this young man's personality and existence than the way in which he died. I've spoken to men who knew his former shipmates well, and the strongest oral traditions about him are not concerned with his cold and premature death, but rather with his warm and lively character. I'm hoping to see this trend continue - not in order to downplay the circumstances of his death, but because I'd like to see a restoration of balance to our perceptions of his life.

The lines you cite, which Marcus derived from Moody's own correspondence, are excellent examples. They are highly typical of the sense of humour that was such an outstanding characteristic of the young man. There is something very endearing about a person who could cheerfully dub the august Titanic as 'the big omnibus'. He was also an excellent observer, and recorded his impressions in a style that is direct and highly perceptive, and his prose has a simple elegance. As far as I can determine (and I have the names of all the ships Moody served on and the dates he was aboard them), he had never had a berth on a passenger ship prior to joining the Oceanic. All his previous ships were cargo. And yet the White Star Line was willing to not only employ him, they put him on one of their crack liners. I've seen some of Geoffrey Marcus' comments in private correspondence on this point (the fact that the WSL would put Moody in quick succession on both the Oceanic and then the Titanic), and it is clear that Marcus - who knew a good deal about how the WSL worked - was very impressed with the fact that they did so. One gets the idea that Moody must have created a very favourable impression with the WSL!

The world lost an invaluable observer when James Moody remained on the ship. He could have told us about many aspects of the story that no one who survived could have, and what's more he would have done it in a style that would have completely enthralled the reader. He had a gift with words, and he was in a position that offered a unique perspective of events as they unfolded.

But there was more to it than just losing a valuable witness. He was a man who was deeply loved by those who knew him, some of whom would carry a sense of grief and loss to the end of their own lives. He had a sense of integrity that I can hardly convey...he was someone who had taken all the knocks life had directed at him (and there were many of them) but who retained a sense of optimism and exuberance that make him a joy to know, even through the obscuring gulf of 88 years. It took an event on the scale of the Titanic to finally kill that bright optimism.

Best wishes,

Inger
 
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