James Paul Moody
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|James Paul Moody|
|Born||21 August 1887
Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England
|Died||15 April 1912
RMS Titanic (sunk), Atlantic Ocean
|Occupation||Ship's Sixth Officer|
|Parents||John Henry Moody and Evelyn Louis Lammin|
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 travelled 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 crewmen 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 with First Officer William Murdoch and Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall 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 Lifeboats No. 12, 14, and 16. While loading No. 14, Fifth Officer Lowe remarked that an officer should man the lifeboat. While the lower-ranked Moody would traditionally have been given this task, he deferred to Lowe. Moody went to the starboard side and gave Murdoch a hand until the water had come on the deck. It was a decision that would seal his fate. Moody was later seen by the ship's lamp trimmer, Samuel Hemming, on top of the officers' quarters trying to launch Collapsible A, an emergency lifeboat, just a few minutes before the final sinking. Moody was last seen alive diving into the sea from the bridge, and 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. Surviving wireless operator Harold Bride who also claimed to have seen Murdoch being washed overboard stated that after the ship sank, he saw Murdoch and Sixth Officer James Paul Moody in the water nearby Collapsible Lifeboat "B," but that they were already dead. Murdoch was clinging to a broken deck chair showing he died from hypothermia. Moody appeared to have a head injury (which prompted Bride to wonder at the time if Moody had been shot.) Moody was 24 at the time of his death. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He was the only junior officer on the Titanic to die in the sinking.
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)
Sixth Officer Moody was portrayed by Edward Fletcher in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. The film depicted Moody admitting steerage passengers Jack Dawson and Fabrizio De Rossi on board the ship only moments before it departed Southampton. Moody appears later in the film and receives the iceberg warning from the lookouts. Moody is also seen in the film during the attempted launch of Collapsible A, and his death is not clearly shown, although he can be briefly seen already dead in the water, with a life vest on, in a close-up of a few seconds, when lifeboat 14, led by Fifth Officer Lowe, has just approached to the wreck site, in search of survivors. So it was suggested that he died of hypothermia.