James Paul Moody

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James Paul Moody
James Paul Moody.jpg
Born 21 August 1887
Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England
Died 15 April 1912(1912-04-15) (aged 24)
RMS Titanic (sunk), Atlantic Ocean
Cause of death Unconfirmed; body never recovered
Occupation Ship's Sixth Officer
Parent(s) John Henry Moody and Evelyn Louis Lammin

James Paul Moody (21 August 1887 – 15 April 1912) was the Sixth Officer of the RMS Titanic and the only junior officer of the ship to die in the disaster. Born in England, he received a prestigious education and served the White Star Line aboard the luxurious RMS Oceanic.

When Titanic struck the iceberg, he was on watch on the bridge alongside First Officer William Murdoch when the ship hit an iceberg. He helped thereafter loading the lifeboats. Despite repeated invitations of his colleagues, he refused to board a boat and died in the sinking.

Early life[edit]

James Moody was born in Scarborough, England on 21 August 1887. Little is known about his early life. His parents were John Henry Moody and Evelyn Louis Lammin.

Moody graduated from the King Edward VII Nautical School in London and passed his Masters Examination there in April 1911.


In 1910 Apprentice James Moody also became Sub-Lieutenant James Moody, RNR, when he received a commission in the Royal Naval Reserve. He did shore work when he could. The White Star Line thought it was essential that all of their Ship's Officers be in the Royal Naval Reserve as well. It also meant that the line was doing something for Great Britain and received other benefits from the British Government.

RMS Titanic[edit]

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. It was a decision that would seal his fate. Moody went to the starboard side and gave Murdoch a hand until the water had come on the deck. Moody was last 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.[1] Lightoller also said; "Mr. Moody must have been standing quite close to me at the same time. He was on top of the quarters clearing away the collapsible boat on the starboard side, whilst Mr. Murdoch was working at the falls. If that is so, we were all practically in the water together." [2]

Moody was 24 at the time of his death. His body was never recovered. 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)