New York Times

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Senior Cunard Captain Heads Fleet, Succeeding Late Sir James Charles
Wears Many Honors for Rescue and War Service---Berengaria Is His 13th Command
Captain Sir Arthur Rostron sailed yesterday from this port in command of the liner Berengaria, on his first trip as Commodore of the Cunard Line, with which he has been associated more than thirty years. He was appointed senior captain and thus Commodore of the fleet as successor to the late Sir James T. W. Charles, who died on his farewell trip.

Commodore Rostron has had a distinguished career on the seas and holds appointment as Royal Naval Reserve Aide-de-Camp to the King. He also has the Congressional Medal, which was awarded to him for his service in connection with the rescue of passengers on the sinking Titanic in 1912.

His first voyage as commander of the Cunarder Carpathia was made in 1911. On a return trip from the Mediterranean in 1912 he received an S 0 S from the Titanic, which led him to direct his ship to the side of the sinking vessel and enabled his crew to rescue many of those who would otherwise have been lost. President Taft sent him a letter of appreciation for his act.

For this gallant service also a gold medal was publicly presented to Commodore Rostron at the Liverpool Town Hall by the Earl of Derby, who was then Lord Mayor, acting for the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society. An illuminated address was also presented to him and from associations and life-saving societies in all parts of the United States and Great Britain tokens of appreciation of his skill and seamanship poured in.

Commodore Rostron was born in 1869 in Sharples, Bolton, England. He was educated in Bolton High School and Bolton Church Institute, later serving two years on the cadet ship Conway, which was moored in the Mersey. Here he obtained the groundwork of his nautical training, which was strengthened by several years of service on sailing ships and steamers. He joined the Cunard Line in 1895 as junior officer of the Umbria, then in the New York-Liverpool service and at that time one of the two largest and fastest ships in the Atlantic trade.

He resigned after four months to take his qualifying drills in the Royal Naval Reserve and rejoined the company the next year as third officer of the Aurania. He was promoted in 1898 and succeeded to other posts until in 1903 he was made first officer of the Ultonia. Promotion to chief officer followed, and in 1907 he was appointed to his first command with the Cunard Line. He was assigned to the Brescia, in the Mediterranean service, and subsequent commands were the Veria, Pavia, Saxonia, Pannonia, Carpathia, Caronia, Carmania, Lusitania, Alaunia, Mauretania, Aquitania and the Berengaria. He was captain of the Mauretania in August, 1924, when she broke both the eastward and westward transatlantic records in one round trip.

Commodore Rostron is an officer of the Royal Naval Reserve, having been commissioned Commander in 1912. He holds the Royal Decoration for lengthy service and the South African Transport Medal for the safe conveyance of troops to South Africa during the Boer War. For his notable service in the World War he was made a Commander of the British Empire.

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  1. Alina (5190) said:

    Great man, the most decorated seaman of the merchant fleet, a captain and a soldier.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) SIR ARTHUR ROSTRON SAILS AS COMMODORE (New York Times, Sunday 29th July 1928, ref: #3280, published 27 July 2004, generated 24th July 2021 03:39:57 PM); URL :