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|RMS Titanic - Officer Lowe|
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Harold Godfrey Lowe was born in Eglwys Rhos, Caernarvonshire, North Wales on 21 November 1882, and ran away from home to go to sea at age 14, refusing the offer of an apprenticeship from his father. Lowe started as a Ship's Boy aboard the Welsh coastal schooners as he worked to attain his certifications. In 1906, he passed his certification and gained his second mate's certificate, then in 1908, he attained his first mate's certificate. By the time he started with the White Star Line, He served as third officer on White Star's the Belgic and the Tropic before being transferred to the Titanic as Fifth Officer in 1912. Despite his numerous years at sea, however, the maiden voyage of the Titanic was to be his first transatlantic crossing.
Lowe reported to White Star's Liverpool offices at nine o'clock in the morning on 26 March 1912, and travelled to board the Titanic at Belfast the following day, When the Titanic departed Southampton at noon, Lowe was on the bridge, relaying messages to various parts of the ship by telephone, On 14 April 1912, the night of the sinking, Lowe had been relieved at 8.00 PM by Sixth Officer Moody and was asleep in his quarters when the ship hit the iceberg at 11.40 PM, When Lowe finally awakened and realized the situation, he immediately got dressed, grabbed his revolver, and went to work Third Officer Pitman charged him with loading lifeboat No5,Around 1.30 AM, Lowe engaged in a conversation with Sixth Officer Moody the two junior officers felt that the group of boats needed to have an officer with them. Moody insisted that Lowe should get onto lifeboat No. 14 and that he would get on another one, After reaching the water, Lowe ordered his lifeboat to be rowed about 150 yards away from the Titanic. When the ship foundered at around 2.20 AM, Lowe had begun to gather several lifeboats together. He redistributed the survivors in the group of lifeboats he had gathered, to ready one lifeboat for a search for additional survivors. Reluctantly, he waited until the screams died down before returning. When he returned to gather survivors, he picked up only four men, one of whom died later that night. Lowe's was the only boat to return for survivors, Lowe and his group of lifeboats were picked up the next morning by the RMS Carpathia.
After returning home, Lowe married Ellen Marion Whitehouse in September 1913, They had two children together: Florence Josephine Edge Lowe and Harold William George Lowe. Harold Lowe died of hypertension on 12 May 1944 at the age of 61 and was buried at the Llandrillo-yn-Rhos church in Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales.
(The Grave of Fifth officer Harold Lowe)
A Memorial plaque has recently been unveiled by his grandson, Captain John Lowe at his home town harbour Barmouth, Gwynedd, Wales, UK.
places to explore on this Deck
- Down the hatch - Here's a drinking expression that seems to have its origins in sea freight, where cargoes are lowered into the hatch. First used by seamen, it has only been traced back to the turn of the century.
- Clean Bill of Health - This widely used term has its origins in the document issued to a ship showing that the port it sailed from suffered from no epidemic or infection at the time of departure
- As the Crow Flies - When lost or unsure of their position in coastal waters, ships would release a caged crow. The crow would fly straight towards the nearest land thus giving the vessel some sort of a navigational fix. The tallest lookout platform on a ship came to be know as the crow's nest.