Thursday, July 3, 2008
James Paul Moody was born on August 21, 1887 in Yorkshire, England. The Moody famly was well-known in their town seeing as James' grand-father was the town clerk and his father was on the town council. He started his sea career like all other officers and sea-men. As an apprentice. He was on the H.M.S. Conway and attended the nautical Birkenhead training school.
Moody joined the White Star Line in 1911 and his first ship was the R.M.S. Oceanic (Charles Lightoller was aboard the Oceanic also. His residence was in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. He was staying with an uncle and his family was known there too because one of his ancestors was the town's first coroner. At the age of 24 in 1912, he was transferred to the TITANIC where he became 6th officer. He was paid $36 a month and was given his own cabin as compensation. During the voyage, Moody would assist all the other officers with any needed help and add to the ship's log. His service time was 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and was on bridge duty from 4-5:00. On the night of April 14, 1912, the ship was headed SW and it was around 11:20 when the lookout Fredrick Fleet had rung the bell three times and the phone was ringing. 1st officer Murdoch and 6th officer Moody were on bridge duty. Moody answered the phone and said "What do you see?" Fleet replied "iceberg dead ahead sir!" Moody relayed the message to Murdoch and he gave the necessary orders. It was too late however and the ship struck the iceberg. After the inspections were made and the doom of the ship was proven inevitable, Moody assisted Lowe with loading and lowering boats 15 and 14. Violet Jessop was more than likely put into a lifeboat and said this in her memoirs:
"My arm was suddenly jerked, and I turned to see young Mason (who was probably Moody) who had been busy filling a boat. His face looked weary and tired, but he gave a bright smile as he ordered my group into the boat, calling out "Good luck!" as we stepped in, helped by his willing, guiding hand. Before I could do anything, young Mason hailed me and held up something, calling as he prepared to throw it, "Look after this, will you?" I reached out to receive someone's forgotten baby in my arms."
While loading 14, Lowe said that an officer should command this boat and Moody talked Lowe into getting in by saying "You go and I'll get into another one." He then loaded and lowered boat No. 16 with Chief Officer Wilde. He and Wilde maintained order as the passengers began to realize that their fates were sealed. He was last seen getting Collapsible A down off the roof. Moody died on that tragic night and was the only junior officer to do so. His body was never recovered but there is a monument to him in Woodland Cemetery.