Sixth Officer James Moody

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Devan Robertson

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Yo Inger...

We are at definatly at complete understanding regarding the events prior and present to the end of James Moody's life. From what I have uncovered He loved his family dearly and kept a valued place in his heart for each of them. his bright sense of humor might have overshadowed this fact and perhaps it wasnt very easy for his to relingquish these feelings to them. But overall his family knew how much he cared for them and it was directly the case back towards him. He made his family proud by exceling in what he was persuing and attempting to acheive. Despite the family tradition of maintaining a distint law career he displayed his sense of individuality which was completly accepted by his family. He was just beginning the feel the benifits of being an officer until the titanic disaster. He was greatly valued by the white star line as being a bright young fresh man who could explore the world of new shipping technology unlike what Captain Smith would be able to do because of his age. The responsibilities he was given were ultimatly to enhance his experience and it was working quite well, who knows I belive that he would probably become a very reliable and famous capatin in it werent for his death. It seems that simply because he was a junior officer and not very glamourised that people do not see the whole story about James Moody, he is simply know by most people as the officer who answered the telephoen call from the crows nest. But underneath him is a bright, young, humoristic and kind fellow who loved what he did and loved the people he worked with. Because me and you are some of the very few who know so much about titanic and James Moody we are able to explore these tales and understand them. He is my mentor and role model with no doubt. I can sometimes feel when I'm on the bridge of the ship I work in( I work sometimes for BC Ferries) I feel like James Moody, its really weird but fun at the same time.

It is more than probable that Moody thought he was going to be sent away in A and therefore was riven to aide those prior to being sent off. Because he was there when the collison took place and he saw the expression of Murdoch's face, I think he knew the extent of how serious this was. I'm pretty pissed that there isnt very much in TITANIC (james camerons) about moody, he works on the gangway as we all know, he answer the telephone but other than that there are only two beife scenes regarding him, I think there were cut scenes but I am not entirley sure. In fact I think that TITANIC is only devoted to that love story rather than the ship and its crew. I like these discussion, as I belive we are some of the only ppl who know the most about James Moodys life..


Yours

Devan
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Devan -

Another session of the James Moody appreciation society called to order, eh? :) Well, if it redresses some of the neglect of this fascinating figure...

From what I have uncovered He loved his family dearly and kept a valued place in his heart for each of them.

Family relationships are complicated, and the Moody/Lammin families perhaps moreso than most. But one thing I have found consistent - they all seem to have cherished the youngest of John and Evelyn Moody's children.

his bright sense of humor might have overshadowed this fact and perhaps it wasnt very easy for his to relingquish these feelings to them.

Oh, they knew. He was very open and articulate, and he expressed very clearly how he felt about his family. Of course there was affectionate teasing, as there is in all the closest families. But the relationship, particularly between James and the two siblings nearest to him in age, was close throughout his brief life...even when he was on 'one hundred days voyages' and a world away in foreign ports.

He made his family proud by exceling in what he was persuing and attempting to acheive. Despite the family tradition of maintaining a distint law career he displayed his sense of individuality which was completly accepted by his family. He was just beginning the feel the benifits of being an officer until the titanic disaster.

The reasons for James taking up the career he did are fairly complex. He was the third son in the family, and an occupation needed to be found for him - and it was. He was, however, as he himself said on one occasion proud to be earning an honest living.

He was greatly valued by the white star line as being a bright young fresh man who could explore the world of new shipping technology unlike what Captain Smith would be able to do because of his age. The responsibilities he was given were ultimatly to enhance his experience and it was working quite well, who knows I belive that he would probably become a very reliable and famous capatin in it werent for his death.

Well, he'd already received one promotion on the Oceanic in the short spell he was on her, so he must have been showing a good deal of ability! I once saw a comment regarding Haddock that suggested that no man would receive a recommendation for promotion under him who did not show exemplary conduct and ability. That James Moody was first promoted under him on the Oceanic, then recommended for transferral to the Titanic, demonstrates that he was showing a good deal of talent. This is in spite of factors that weighed against him - he did not, for example, hold an extra-master's certificate.

It seems that simply because he was a junior officer and not very glamourised that people do not see the whole story about James Moody, he is simply know by most people as the officer who answered the telephoen call from the crows nest.

Indeed, yes...even in ANTR this is almost all we see of him ("what did you see...?"). I'm glad to see, however, that there are some excellent researchers and writers in the on-line community who show a great deal of interest in him. Kritina, who has already posted in this thread, is one. There is also Courtney, who contributed the original Moody bio to the ET site. I'm in private contact with a few others. There are a few people wandering around with a fairly facile interest that seems to stem from a desire to see a sort of historic substitute for a 'Jack Dawson' type figure, and some people are trapped in perceptions of him as a fairly passive, 'good', bland figure, but fortunately they are in the minority.

He is my mentor and role model with no doubt. I can sometimes feel when I'm on the bridge of the ship I work in( I work sometimes for BC Ferries) I feel like James Moody, its really weird but fun at the same time.

I'm glad you feel that strong identification with him, and that he is a positive role model for you. While he'd probably respond to our admiration for him with a laugh and a joke, I think he'd also be touched by what you've said - embarrassed, perhaps, but honoured as well.

Because he was there when the collison took place and he saw the expression of Murdoch's face, I think he knew the extent of how serious this was.

If the ideas and information that Kerri and I are exploring turn out to be on the right track, there is more supporting evidence for the idea that Moody was very conscious of how serious matters were.

I'm pretty pissed that there isnt very much in TITANIC (james camerons) about moody, he works on the gangway as we all know, he answer the telephone but other than that there are only two beife scenes regarding him

Whilst Edward Fletcher played the role well as it was written, he bears very little resemblance to the historic James Moody in either character (what we see of his character) or physically. Both were young men with 'fresh' complexions - but there the resemblance ends. James Moody was tall, broadshouldered, fair in colouring, leonine features (no dimples) and with a somewhat athletic, if slim, build. Had he lived, I suspect he would have become a rather physically powerful man as he matured into his thirties.

In terms of character, there wasn't much scope for James Moody to develop in Cameron's movie. I suspect, however, that Cameron's interpretation of the young man derives a good deal from his polite response to the warning from the crow's nest. Moody was not a young patrician with the accent depicted in the movie - very good, Sir - he was a friendly, open young Yorkshireman.

I find the scenes during the collision, when Moody is first shown as 'unhurriedly' (script direction) responding to the crows nest, nursing a cup of tea, then basically getting in Murdoch's way highly risible. His complete absence from the boats - notably in scenes such as the loading of 14 and 16 (where we see Lowe and *Lightoller* instead) - is completely grating. He is glimpsed at "A", and that is all.

Much better is ANTR, where Michael Bryant bore at least some physical resemblance to Moody, and he was given a proactive role in loading lifeboats more in keeping with the historical record (even if he is shown working with Lightoller).

Anyway, that's my Saturday morning rant...I don't know if you're based in England and already have access to them, but let me know if you'd like some vintage Scarbro' postcards. I've promised someone I'll pick some up at the markets for them soon, and would be happy to grab some for you as well.

Regards,

Inger
 
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Devan Robertson

Guest
Yo Inger...

I must make some small ajustments in the statements I made earlier. When I said that his feelings might have not come out as good seeing that he was more humouristic than other..I know that his love for his family was easily identifiable and reconized by each family member but also most people with sense of humors also incorporate some humor through their feelings,w hich I'm sure arrived on occaison in their household. But none the less The Moodys/Lammin family was based a very healthy loving family which based their relationnships on love. The promotions which he was going to receive were definatly going to put his career in full swing. The White Star Line's Captains were all getting older and on the verge of retirement and they need to promote their senior officers in the rankings and transfer the juniors to seniors. Evedently Moody was on the top ofthis list and would of no doubt received a promotion to a higher ranking. As we all know Moody was hand pick as sixth officer by captain smith probaly because Smith ahad extreme confidence in Moody's navigational skills.

As for ANTR, I last sa wit last yearand havent had thetime to watch it again, Iwill get it and watch itto verify Moodys roll.

Unfourtenatly I must leave now but please continue our discussion with any topic involving Mood as I would be honored to give an answer.


Always


Devan
 
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Devan Robertson

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Inger..please excuse my little mistakes in writing , I was very hurried and went as fast as I could
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Devan -

I'll comment on your 'mistakes' on the day I manage to put up a typo-free post...so don't hold your breath on that score ;-)

I'm not so sure that Moody was 'hand picked' by Smith - after all, Smith had never sailed with Moody. I can imagine that he might have had a voice in the selection of his senior officers, but would that be the case with a junior? Moody had, after all, only been with the line less than a year, and had never even met Smith prior to Smith joining the Titanic. I suppose there's a slim chance he asked Lightoller 'so, what do you think of this chap off the Oceanic?', but I find that somewhat unlikely.

I find it a more likely scenario that it was Haddock, under whom Moody served on the Oceanic, who made a good report of the junior officer to the Line that influenced Moody's selection for the Titanic. After all, Moody had already been promoted once under Haddock.

We'll never know how his career might have gone had he lived - not all WSL officers were promoted (I understand Holehouse, his counterpart on the Olympic, did not achieve a command - but wish to verify this...I know he died on board a Cunard-WS ship while still serving as a ship's officer). He might have left the sea...he might have lost his life in WWI.

One can only regret that he never had the chance to find out how far his career might have taken him. It sounds trite to say so, but wouldn't it be preferable for the ship never to have sunk...and for you and I never to have heard of a ship's officer in the first part of the century who served a stint on the Titanic when he was in his mid-20s who then went on to serve aboard many more ships, in the war, marry, raise a family, then retire to happy obscurity?

Best wishes,

Ing
 
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Devan Robertson

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Inger.Moody had actually been hand-picked by Smith, butnot in the way I said it, we don't know the whole story but the probablility exists that Lightoller reported a bright, fresh professional officer named "Moody" and Captain Smith perhaps only replied "right, we'll take him" I think my justification on "handpicked" might have been out too literaly, as it could easily be subject to someoen thinking of a line of officers and one being picked by Smith, which is not the case at all. Moody had actually made his own destiny by not entering a boat and not leaving the ship at all. But his death remains a mystery, what do you belive his initial death was caused by??


Regards
Devan
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo, Devan -

Sorry, but I have to disagree with the certitude with which you state "Moody had actually been hand-picked by Smith". My comment about Lightoller perhaps mentioning Moody to Smith was half-way facetious - there is no extant evidence that Smith selected his junior officers (or even definitive proof that he selected his senior officers, although one would suppose he had a say in the matter). There is absolutely nothing beyond sheer conjecture to suppose that Smith had any role at all in selecting Moody (a man whom he had never met). There is no evidence that any Smith ever had a conversation with Lightoller about potential candidates for service on the Titanic. Judging from information I have on two of the other officers who served on the Titanic, it is more likely that a certain White Star Line official had the most active role in the decisions on who went where. I'm certain Haddock - who knew Moody - provided feedback on the new WSL officer, but the final decision rested with the Line. The remote possibility does exist that Smith somehow learned of Moody by reputation and requested his transfer to the Titanic, but until you can provide something other than conjecture or supposition, I have to state that I find it extremely improbable.

Moody's death - like virtually every other death in the connection with the sinking - remains a mystery. I was reminded of what his family, and the families of 1,500 other people went through when reading Chris Cotter's words in 'The Perfect Story': "But what was the final moment? What was the final, final thing?" The possibilities are not pleasant to contemplate - drowning, death through debris related injuries, or - of course - hypothermia are the obvious potential causes of death.

We don't know, and I doubt very, very much that we ever will. For what it's worth, I believe he stayed with 'A', so focused on his task he probably didn't realise the end was there until right before the sea overwhelmed him. If he didn't have a lifejacket on, then he might have met the fate that Gracie and Lightoller (both wearing jackets) narrowly avoided.

As he had hardly had adequate sleep since Belfast (unless he managed to catch up on it after sailing day, which I doubt), so I imagine he was already tired. He was a mere twenty minutes away from the end of his watch when the collision occured. He had been active since the time of the collision. Possibly, he was not in a physical state to last very long.

On the other hand, he was fit, he was young, he was a very strong swimmer and he had a very tenacious streak (which counts almost as much as physical fitness in the struggle to survive). These points may have countered those above.

The end result - whether it happened while the ship took her final plunge or sometime after with the dying cries around him - was the same. He was gone long before the dawn.

Best wishes,

Ing
 
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Devan Robertson

Guest
Ing..

I do not have any proof regarding Moody being selected by Captain Smith, but than again, no one does. All that I rely on is the information I receive and the hard evidence I obtain. Some "books" make this statments while others make various others which are sometimes extremly farfetched while others have a little more credibility. Its obious that WSL had the final say as to which officers were employed on titanic but when Smith came to a conclusion, such as putting Wilde in, WSL did not object, simply because they belived that he knew the best officers in which to accompony him. Moody had probably been selected because he was young, bright and had a keen knowledge of the sea. Since he was a younger officer in WSL he would have been in the ranks of junior. His proformance would have put him at the top of his class.

It's really weird, when I try to think of moody's death, I can't seem to think of him dying in these circumstances. It just doesnt fit him. but then again I must be blabbering on

Any questions regarding Moody, simply bring em upon me

Regards

Devan
 
Nov 22, 2000
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I have often wondered about the reasons for the transfer of Henry Tingle Wilde to the Titanic.
I'm sure that there was some sort of friendship between Captain Smith's wife Eleanor and Wilde's wife Mary Catherine (Polly).They possibly became friends whilst both living in Liverpool, the Smiths in Waterloo and The Wildes in Walton - they may even have been related in some way although it seems improbable. Mary Wilde, nee Jones, died on Christmas Eve 1910 after giving birth to twin boys, Archie and Richard, neither of whom survived. Possibly Mrs Smith hoped her husband would keep a watchful eye on Officer Wilde
who was obviously deeply upset over the loss of his wife and mother of his four surviving children.
Following the sinking, Eleanor Smith stayed for a time at an address in Runcorn, Cheshire, from which she wrote to the Titanic Relief Fund that she hoped that they would take proper care of Officer Wide's poor children. This Cheshire address was the same that the Wildes had used some years before, which lead me to wonder about the relationship factor.If anyone knows the answer I would be pleased to hear from you.
 
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Devan Robertson

Guest
George..

Captain Smith wouldn't allow Cheif Officer Wilde on titanic as Cheif Officer if he wasn't an ecellant officer. Smith isn't the tye of fellow who would allow an officer to be put on his ship simply due to the fact that he was his friend.

furthur more do not entre messages in this conversation if they aren't directly related to Sixth Officer Moody, you are messing up our conversation, create your own conversation about Wilde if you wish to ersue this furthur

Devan
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo, Geoff -

The reasons for Wilde's transfer to the Titanic have been a topic of speculation before, haven't they? As far as material I've seen there's nothing more than rumour and speculation regarding the reasons for the transfer.

Lightoller's passage about the reshuffle is interesting: "Unfortunately, whilst in Southampton, we had a reshuffle amongst the Senior Officers. Owing to the Olympic being laid up, the ruling lights of the White Star Line thought it would be a good plan to send the Chief Officer of the Olympic, just for one voyage, as Chief Officer of the Titanic, to help, with his experience of her sister ship. This doubtful policy threw Murdoch and me out of our stride..." Lightoller attributes the 'doubtful policy' to 'the ruling lights of the WSL'...was Smith one of these? Doesn't seem likely to me. And why, if Wilde was brought over becuase of his experience, does Lightoller say also it was because the Olympic was laid up? One wonders what sort of company politics also had a role in what was going on - I know from material derived from another Titanic officer that politics were rife in the WSL, as with every other shipping line (no different today, if my mercantile marine friends are to be believed).

On the other hand, Wilde's proposed single voyage as Chief of the Titanic is not too disimilar to Evans' single voyage as Chief of the Olympic...as with the Olympic's three seniors coming over to Titanic, the Adriatic had lost her three seniors to the Olympic when the Olympic made her maiden voyage.

There's also Murdoch's letter to his sister written before sailing day: "The head Marine Supt. from L'pool seemed to be very favourably impressed & satisfied that everything went on A1 & as much as promised that when Wilde goes that I am to go up again." While he doesn't give a time frame for how long Wilde would stay with the Titanic, the fact he discussed Wilde's departure with Bartlett suggests it might not have been too far in the future.

I have heard the rumours about the friendship between Eleanor Smith and Mary Catherine Wilde - do you know the source for these? The Cheshire address is fascinating new material to me!

Btw - what's your interpretation of handwriting re the 'cause of death' listed on Mary Catherine Wilde's entry of death in the GRO? I read it as:

Pyelitis of Pregnancy
Phleblis Pulmonary
Cuibolisne Puenmonia

Am away from my medical contact and her books, so I haven't had a chance to ask her for correct spellings and definitions...anyone care to explain these terms to me?

Speculation that Mary Wilde might have been related to Eleanor Smith is interesting - Mary's family background was Welsh as I understand it, but I don't know anything about Eleanor Smith's genealogy.

Best wishes,

Inger
 

Inger Sheil

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Devan -

I think Geoff raised some very interesting points. In understanding the movements of crew between ships, we cannot view one individual (e.g. James Moody) in isolation. We need to understand how the WSL company placed its officers, and in doing so we can better understand how specific people arrived where they did. I find Harold Lowe's case fascinating, as he was an exception amongst his fellow Titanic officers. He had not come up via an apprenticeship, and he had never served on the North Atlantic mail boat run before (even Moody, junior to him in both age, experience and in the Ship's swagger line had experience in that regard).

The following statement from the WSL (given in the minutes of a special meeting and reprinted in The Commutator gives an idea of the selection process:

Having fitted out this magnificent vessel, the "Titanic", we proceeded to man her with all that was best in the White Star organisation, and that, I believe, without boasting, means everything in the way of skill, manhood and esprit de corps. Whenever a man had distinguished himself in the service by means of ability and devotion to duty, he was earmarked at once to go to the "Olympic" or "Titanic", if it were possible to spare him from his existing position, with the result that, from Captain Smith, Chief Engineer Bell, Dr. O'Loughlin, Purser McElroy, Chief Steward Latimer, downwards, I can say without fear of contradiction, that a finer set of men never manned a ship, nor could be found in the whole of the Mercantile Marine of the Country, and no higher testimony than this can be paid to the worth of any crew.

It is indeed difficult to associate someone with the youth and vigour of James Moody with sudden death (the sort of contrast that writers and artists have played on since classical times). Viewed in context, it would not be long before an entire generation - men and boys even younger than James - would be dying in places like France, Belgium, Turkey and so on.

There are some wonderful lines by Housman:

Here dead lie we because we did not choose
To live, and shame the land from which we sprung
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose
But young men thing it is, and we were young.


There was, from the little data extant on his actions the night the Titanic sank, little evidence of passivity on the part of James Moody. No stoic acceptance of fate, in spite of contemporary sources that suggested (with considerable admiration it must be said) that he simply stood by the Captain. Instead, he was working proactively to save lives...and, as far as we know (although who can be certain what happened after Hemming saw him?) he worked in that capacity until the end. That's a fine epitaph for any human being.

Regards,

Inger
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Hello Inger,

I think the Wilde saga is destined to remain one of life's mysteries. It is quite possible that he was transferred from the Olympic without Smith's knowledge, also David Blair was unaware of the situation until quite late. (I did at one time have a postcard written by him to his sister in which he complains of his treatment by the WSL - unfortunately, the guy who gave it to me asked for it back when all the Cameron film hype was on so I don't know where it ended up!)
Eleanor Smith came from a farm in Winwick near Warrington which is still a fully operational farm today, I'm not sure where Mary Jones came from in Wales but I think it was North Wales. I think it was her family who were something to do with house construction. When she died she left quite a large sum of money for those days which had depleted greatly when Henry's will went to probate.
As to Mary's causes of death, Phlebitis Pulmonary is an inflammation of the vein in which deoxygenated blood travels from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart. Pyelonepritis is inflammation of both kidney and pelvis caused by bacterial infection. As for the third cause - it stumps me!
I still think that the only relationship twixt the two women was the fact that both husbands would move in the same circles, I would have thought that had there been any kinship, she would have made mention of it in her letter to the Relief Fund.
Thanks for contacting me Inger, it's always good to hear from someone with so much important information.

Regards

Geoff
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo, Geoff -

Good to hear from you. I agree that the Wilde question might always elude resolution, as will Smith's role (if any) in his transfer to the Titanic. Bad luck about the Blair postcard! Presumably it was in the same vein as his letter to Miss Mackness on the 4th? WSL politics - like the politics of any large company - seem to have been a nightmare to navigate, as comments from at least one of the Titanic's surviving officers that were reported to me suggest.

I gather you're correct about Mary's family being in construction - her father's occupation was listed as 'builder' on the Wilde-Jones wedding certificate. Looks like they were both living in Walton at the time, and presumably this is how they met? Their addresses given at the time of their wedding are certainly close - indeed, according to my Liverpool Street Atlas, Grey Road runs off Rice Lane.

Many thanks for the medical definitions - useful to know (if terribly sad - Christmas eve!).

I agree that the connection between Eleanor and Mary was probably social. I found it interesting that Eleanor visited the wives of the officers following the sinking - this must have been Ada and possibly Sylvia?

Best wishes,

Inger
 
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devan Robertson

Guest
Inger&Geoff...

I agree that Wilde's role is a mystery. the sudden change of command is quite unusaual and unexplanatory. the probability exist that Elenor and Mary had a social relationship and Smith felt that his experienc would be a vital importance and also would give them a start on a more social relationship(they probably already had one).But Wilde was a notible officer with a keen mind. sorry but I must now go in order to pack, I am off to my job as a junior officer aboard the H.M.V queen of Burnaby, a ferry in the BC Ferry fleet, and I will also have time to relax

Devan