James Paul Moody

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James Paul Moody
Born 21 August 1887
Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England
Died 15 April 1912 (aged 24)
RMS Titanic (sunk), Atlantic Ocean
Occupation Ship's Sixth Officer
Parents John Henry Moody and Evelyn Louis Lammin

James Paul Moody (Scarborough 21 August 1887 – Atlantic Ocean 15 April 1912) was the Sixth Officer of the RMS Titanic and the only junior officer of the ship to die in the disaster.

Early life

Little is known about Moody's youth. He was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England, the son of John Henry Moody and Evelyn Louis Lammin. He went to sea at the age of 14 and attended the HMS Conway nautical training ship at Birkenhead. Moody joined the White Star Line that same year and served on their liner RMS Oceanic (along with fellow Titanic officer Charles Lightoller) before being transferred to the RMS Titanic in 1912 at age 24. At that time he was living with an uncle at St. James House, Grimsby, Lincolnshire he was a part of the Moody family later to become a Gilmour as he moved to Belfast where the Titanic was built.

RMS Titanic

Along with the other junior officers, Moody received a telegram early in 1912 ordering him to report to White Star's Liverpool offices on 26 March. From there he traveled to board Titanic at the Harland & Wolff yard in Belfast. Titanic then sailed for Southampton to take on passengers. Moody's service as Sixth Officer earned him about $37 a month, although he was allowed his own cabin as compensation for his small salary.

On Titanic's sailing day, 10 April, Moody assisted, among other things, in aiding Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in lowering two of the starboard lifeboats to satisfy the Board of Trade that Titanic met safety standards. He was also in charge of closing the last gangway, and most likely saved the lives of six crewman who arrived too late to board by turning them away. Once the ship had put to sea, Moody stood the 4-5 PM watch and both 8-12 watches, which meant that he was on watch, together with First Officer William Murdoch, when the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11.40 PM on 14 April. After spotting the iceberg, lookout Frederick Fleet rang the warning bell three times and phoned the bridge. It was Moody who answered the call, asking, "What do you see?" Fleet replied, "Iceberg, right ahead!"

In the ensuing evacuation, Moody helped in the loading of lifeboat Nos. 12, 14, and 16. While loading No. 14, Fifth Officer Lowe remarked that an officer should man the lifeboat. While the lower-ranker Moody would traditionally have been given this task, he deferred to Lowe. It was a decision that would seal his fate. Moody was last seen trying to launch Collapsible A, an emergency lifeboat, just a few minutes before the final sinking. Although his final fate is unknown, it is likely that, like most of Titanic's victims, he succumbed to hypothermia in the frigid North Atlantic waters. He was 24 at the time of his death. His body, if recovered, was never identified. Moody was the only junior officer on the Titanic to go down with the ship.

A monument in Woodland Cemetery, Scarborough, commemorates Moody's sacrifice on the Titanic with the Biblical quote, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (see John 15:13)

Officer Moody was portrayed by Edward Fletcher in the 1997 blockbuster movie Titanic. The film depicted Moody admitting steerage passengers Jack Dawson and Fabrizio De Rossi onboard the ship only moments before it departed Southampton.


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