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RMS Titanic Fifth Officer, Harold G. Lowe

Fifth Officer on the RMS Titanic, Harold Godfrey Lowe. nd, circa 1910.

Fifth Officer on the RMS Titanic, Harold Godfrey Lowe. nd, circa 1910. GGA Image ID # 1703fe152c

  • Full Name: Harold Godfrey Lowe
  • Date of birth: 21 November 1882
  • Place of birth: Llanrhos, Wales, England
  • Marital status: Married
  • Spouse: Ellen Whitehouse
  • Crew position: Titanic's Fifth Officer
  • Date of death: 12 May 1944
  • Cause of death: Hypertension, aged 61

Harold Lowe ran away from home at age 14, going on schooners and eventually working on square-rigged sailing ships. From there, he went to steamships while earning his certificates. For five years, Mr. Lowe had worked the West African coast routes before joining White Star Line about 15 months before the Titanic disaster. While with the White Star Line, he was the third officer on the SS Tropic, third on the Belgic, before becoming the fifth officer on the Titanic.

Certificate of Competency Master of a Foreign-Going Ship Awarded to Harold Lowe on 12 November 1910.

Certificate of Competency Master of a Foreign-Going Ship Awarded to Harold Lowe on 12 November 1910. GGA Image ID # 17040859c6

Excerpts from the Senate Hearings

Harold G. Lowe, fifth officer of the Titanic, told his story of the wreck before the investigating committee. His testimony revealed the fact that, with a volunteer crew, he rescued four men from the water, saved a sinking collapsible lifeboat by towing it and took off twenty men and one woman from the bottom of an overturned boat, all of whom he landed safely on the Carpathia.

Lowe testified that he looked over the lifeboats in Belfast Harbor and found everything in them, except a dipper which was missing from one. He was not sure whether a fire drill had been held or not. He did not know whether the officers were at their right places on the side of the ship where he was or not.

He was not on duty Sunday night and could not be induced to make a positive statement of the ship's position, though he had a memorandum of the speed on that day as a fraction below 21 knots an hour. He asserted that he was a temperate man.

 The witness said he did not know when he was awakened. He said he dressed hurriedly and went on deck and found people with life belts on the boats being prepared. He began working at the lifeboats.
“I was working the boats under First Officer Murdock,” he said. “Boat No. 5 was the first one lowered. “There were about ten officers helping, two at each end, two in the boat, and others at the ropes.”


This is to testify that I, Harold Godfrey Lowe, of Penrallt Barmouth, fifth officer of the
late steamship Titanic, in my testimony at the Senate of the United States stated that I
fired shots to prevent Italian immigrants from jumping into my lifeboat.

I do thereby cancel the word "Italian" and substitute the words "immigrants belonging to latin races. In fact, I did not mean to infer that they were especially Italians, because I could only judge from their general appearance and complexion, and therefore I only meant to imply that they were of the types of the Latin races. In any case, I did not intend to cast any reflection on the Italian nation.

This is the real truth, and therefore I feel honored to give out the present statement.

Fifth Officer late "Titanic."
WASHINGTON D. C., April 15, 1912.

[On the reverse.]

The declaration on the other side was made and confirmed this day by Harold Godfrey Lowe, fifth officer of the late Steamship Titanic, in my presence and in the presence of Signor Guido di Vincenzo, secretary of the legal office of the royal embassy.

Washington, this 30th day of April, 1912.
The Royal Ambassador of Italy,

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RMS Titanic Officers
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