Titanic Tablet Memorial Greenwich

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INSTITUTE OF MARINE ENGINEERS TABLET

It was her engineers who kept the lights burning, and in the list of heroes who went down with the vessel the names of the men of the engineering force will have a high place. Not one of them was saved, although many of them were off duty, and these had some chance of climbing to the deck. While it will never be known just what happened, it is believed that every one went back to his post instead of to the decks. ~ The New York Times, Tuesday 23 April 1912

Beyond the immediate traumatic circumstances and bereavement, for the families of the engineers there was an immediate financial impact from the sinking of the Titanic. Families had lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother.  Widows were left with children to raise and homes to run, in the midst of their own personal loss and grief, deprived of the only income the family received.  Recognising the plight of the bereaved families of the engineers a fund was established by the Daily Chronicle newspaper. The Institute of Marine Engineers, the professional body of marine engineers, was appointed to administer the fund.

The fund, the Guild of Benevolence, shared the monies amongst the families and descendants of the engineers. The Titanic Engineers were amongst the Institute’s members and their loss was keenly felt amongst their fellow engineers. Seeking to recognise the bravery and heroism of their colleagues lost aboard the Titanic, the Institute of Marine Engineers commissioned a memorial recording the names of the engineers lost aboard the Titanic. Today, the Guild’s remit has widened to provide relief and support to the widows and descendants of marine engineers who would otherwise have no other means of financial support. It is the only charity in existence today with direct connections to the charitable response to the Titanic disaster.

The Institute of Marine Engineers memorial is in the form a large, decorative bronze plaque. The memorial carries the following inscription:

This tablet is dedicated to the memory of the engine room staff of the S.S. “Titanic” who gave their lives at the post of duty when the vessel sank after striking an iceberg on April 15th, 1912.

 Joseph Bell, Chief Engineer. Alfred S. Allsop, George A. Chisnall, Francis E. G. Coy, Henry P. Creese, Edward C. Dodd, Renney W. Dodd, William L. Duffy, Henry R. Dyer, Alfred G. Ervine, W. E. Farquharson, Hugh Fitzpatrick, James Fraser, Norman Harrison, Herbert G. Harvey, J. H. Hesketh, Charles Hodge, Leonard Hodgkinson, George. F. Hosking, Herbert Jupe, William Kelly, Thomas H. Kemp, W. D. Mackie, William Mc. Reynolds, William Y. Moyes, Alfred P. Middleton, Robert Miller, Thomas Miller, Frank Parsons, Arthur J. Rous, Jonathan Shepherd, Peter Sloan, James M. Smith, Arthur Ward, Bertie Wilson.

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The base of the memorial is inscribed by the name of the sculptor, Scottish artist George Alexander (1881-1942). The memorial dates from 1916. It was originally on permanent display in the foyer of the Institute of Marine Engineers Memorial Building at 76 Mark Lane in the City of London. The Institute moved from the building to 80 Coleman Street in 1999, whereupon the Memorial Building was demolished to make way for 78 Fenchurch Street, a 16-floor office block building.

The memorial was subsequently loaned to the National Maritime Museum and it was put on display during the summer of 2013. The memorial can be found on the southwest stairwell between the first floor ‘Traders’ gallery and second floor ‘Ships of War’ gallery.

Description: On top of the memorial a relief of Neptune’s head flanked by polar bears. Within a broken pediment a relief of the sinking vessel. The inscription is flanked by two reliefs of engineer officers. On the base of the memorial, a roundel with the Institute badge and the legend: ‘INSTITUTE OF MARINE ENGINEERS’. This is surrounded by a globe, compass rose and rivits. It is enclosed by laurel branches.
Type: Wall memorial
Materials: Bronze
Artists: George Alexander
Vessel: RMS Titanic

Notes: George Alexander (1881-1942. The memorial was erected with part of a fund set up by the Institute and the ‘Daily Chronicle’ to help the families of the engineer officers on ‘Titanic’. On loan to the Museum from the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology, Mark Lane, London, England.

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