R.M.S. TITANIC - FIFTH OFFICER HAROLD GODFREY LOWE:
The following archive is sold by direct descent and has never been auctioned or offered for sale remaining in the Lowe family since 1912. Harold Lowe was without doubt one of the heroes of the Titanic disaster, his heroic actions having been portrayed in numerous books and films, most recently by Ioan Gruffudd in James Cameron's blockbuster Titanic.
Harold Godfrey Lowe was born in Llanrhos, Caernarvonshire, Wales on 21st November 1882, the fourth of eight children, to George and Harriet. His father had ambitions for him to be apprenticed to a successful Liverpool businessman, but Harold was determined to go to sea. At 14, he ran away from home and joined the Merchant Navy, serving along the West African Coast. Starting as a Ship's Boy aboard the Welsh coastal schooners as he worked to progress his career. In 1906 he gained his second mate's certificate, and 1908 he his first mate's. In his own words, "experience with pretty well every ship afloat" - the different classes of ships afloat - from the schooner to the square-rigged sailing vessel, and from that to steamships, and of all sizes. He served as Third Officer on the Belgic and the Tropic before being transferred to Titanic as Fifth Officer in 1912. Despite his numerous years at sea, the maiden voyage of the Titanic was to be his first transatlantic crossing.
After Titanic's collision with the iceberg he portrayed a cool and calm demeanour under pressure. Before and during loading of lifeboats it is said he ordered J. Bruce Ismay, Managing Director White Star Line, to get out of his way. "If you will get the hell out of that then I shall be able to do something. Do you want me to lower away quickly? You will have me drown the lot of them".
He left Titanic on lifeboat no. 14. After his crew rowed approx. 150 yards from the sinking, Lowe herded five lifeboats together and redistributed passengers from lifeboat 14 into those other lifeboats. Once the cries of those in the water subsided and he deemed it safe to return, he went back to the wreck site to pick up any survivors, the prime lifeboat to do so. Harold Lowe remained at sea after the sinking but never achieved the command of a ship in the Mercantile Service, although during WWI he was made the rank of commander in the Royal Navy Reserve.
A unique exceptional early 20th century telescope given to Fifth Officer Lowe by Mrs Henry Harris, a Titanic survivor, in recognition of his bravery. The telescope is engraved "To Harold G. Lowe Fifth Officer R.M.S. Titanic, The Real Hero of the Titanic with deepest gratitude from Mrs Henry B Harris of New York April 1912".
£15000 - 20000 Click here for details of BP and other fees payable on this lot.