Captain Stanley Lord was born in Bolton in 1877. When he was thirteen he went to sea in sailing ships. On the 5th April, 1912 Lord, now captain of the Californian, sailed from London, his destination Boston, U.S.A. Nine days into the voyage, his ship encountered an ice field. Lord, mindful of his training that a captain must never endanger his ship, wisely gave the order; “stop engines” at 10.21 p.m. on Sunday, 14th April. There was no other vessel in sight at that time. Lord stayed on the bridge until midnight and then turned in. Some time after 2 a.m., distant white rockets were sighted. These were the distress rockets sent up from the Titanic, which had struck an iceberg at 11.40 p.m. At the Inquiry Captain Lord stated that his ship was nineteen miles distant from the Titanic but, with no evidence to back him up, this was refuted and the Californian was blamed for not going to the rescue immediately. Before the Titanic hit the iceberg the men on watch had seen no sign of another ship. It wasn’t until half-an-hour later that they saw a ship steaming towards them, which then veered away. This could not have been the Californian because she never moved. Following the Inquiry, Captain Lord felt that he had suffered an attack on his seamanship, integrity and humanity. He resigned from the Leyland Line, but within a few months took a job with the Nitrate Producers’ S.S. Company, for which he was a captain until 1927, when he retired. Unfortunately, in 1958 the film A Night To Remember told the story of the Titanic and again blamed the Californian for not going to the rescue. Captain Lord, now aged eighty, tried to get his case reopened to clear his name and the Mercantile Marine Service Association Council agreed to defend his reputation. However, the Board of Trade decided that it would not be in the public interest to reopen the case. Sadly, Captain Lord died long before the exact position of Titanic’s final resting place was found. This discovery bore out his assertion, at the Inquiry, that his ship had been nineteen miles from the Titanic when she was sinking.
Captain Stanley Lord
Captain Lord's grave, on which there is no mention of his having been a ship's captain.
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