Sixth Officer James Moody

Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
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
 
Kritina Johnston

Kritina Johnston

Member
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

Inger Sheil

Member
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

Inger Sheil

Member
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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Devan Robertson

Guest
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

Inger Sheil

Member
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

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

Inger Sheil

Member
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

Guest
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

Inger Sheil

Member
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
 
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Geoff Whitfield

Member
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
 
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