Charles Lightoller

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by South Staffs, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. South Staffs

    South Staffs Junior Member

    There is a WW2 connection here, bear with me!

    Charles Herbert Lightoller was born in March 1874. At the age of 13, he went to sea, eventually ending up in 1900 as an employee of the White Star Line.

    He served as Second Officer on the Titanic, and was only saved because one of the funnels falling into the water washed him up against on overturned life raft. He was the most senior-ranking crew member to have survived the disaster.

    When the Great War started, he was commissioned in to the Royal Navy as a Lieutenant, and served aboard the Oceanic, which had been converted to an armed merchant cruiser. He was then given his own command, first on torpedo boats, then in command of his own destroyer. He ended the war with the rank of Commander.

    At the age of 66, he took his small motor launch across the Channel to assist in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk.

    Few of us get to witness history in the making, let alone be involved in that historice event, even once. He did it three times!

    He was one heck of a man!
     
  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    There is a WW2 connection here, bear with me!

    Charles Herbert Lightoller was born in March 1874. At the age of 13, he went to sea, eventually ending up in 1900 as an employee of the White Star Line.

    He served as Second Officer on the Titanic, and was only saved because one of the funnels falling into the water washed him up against on overturned life raft. He was the most senior-ranking crew member to have survived the disaster.

    When the Great War started, he was commissioned in to the Royal Navy as a Lieutenant, and served aboard the Oceanic, which had been converted to an armed merchant cruiser. He was then given his own command, first on torpedo boats, then in command of his own destroyer. He ended the war with the rank of Commander.

    At the age of 66, he took his small motor launch across the Channel to assist in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk.

    Few of us get to witness history in the making, let alone be involved in that historice event, even once. He did it three times!

    He was one heck of a man!

    Great story.

    He was determined to keep his feet wet!
     
  3. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Now there's a fella I would have loved to sit and chat to.
     
  4. Lucy Stag

    Lucy Stag Senior Member

    Oooh, I love Lightoller! That man is crying out for an epic, totally true something like six hours long mini series about his life. I want to make it someday, but I would be very content with somebody skilled and British doing so (yeah, it should probably be a Brit.) After reading his biography and parts of his autobiography online, I think nobody I have ever heard of is more worthy of such a thing.
     
  5. South Staffs

    South Staffs Junior Member

    Oooh, I love Lightoller! That man is crying out for an epic, totally true something like six hours long mini series about his life. I want to make it someday, but I would be very content with somebody skilled and British doing so (yeah, it should probably be a Brit.) After reading his biography and parts of his autobiography online, I think nobody I have ever heard of is more worthy of such a thing.


    He was certainly an interesting character. He even tried to join the gold rush in the Klondike, and when that didn't work out for him, he went back to sea! He was still in his twenties then, thirty-eight when the Titanic went down....

    I think that you have a wonderful idea. You should try to make it happen, who knows what you could make happen. You could always get a Brit to narrate it for you.......there are plenty of us here.
     
  6. adrian roberts

    adrian roberts Senior Member

    Charles Lightoller had survived several shipwrecks before the Titanic; he probably thought he was over all that when he joined that vessel.

    In WW1 he was awarded the DSC and bar, and while in command of the destroyer HMS Garry on 19/7/18 he sunk the U-boat UB110.

    Unfortunately he was shabbily treated by the White Star Line who always considered him tainted by the Titanic episode and never gave him command of a liner.

    His motor boat in which he did the Dunkirk trip was the Sundowner, which still exists and has been restored. I think its usually based at Ramsgate. He took 130 troops, which must have been a tight squeeze in a 58 ft boat.

    (I tried to attach a picture of Sundowner but I couldn't find one with few enough KBs to upload)

    There is an account that a year after the Titanic sinking, he was playing tennis on a hot day, and went indoors for a cold bath (no showers in those days). When he didn't emerge his friends went to investigate, and found him lying in the cold bath rigid, in a state of shock. The memory of cold water had clearly traumatised him more than he ever let on.
     
  7. Lucy Stag

    Lucy Stag Senior Member

    Visiting Sundowner (at the East Kent Maritime Trust, I think...Many thousands of miles and a large ocean away from where I am) is on my to-do list for when I manage to get over to the UK. Such a small vessal, but such a history!

    I found that story of Lightoller going into shock from the cold bath very interesting. He seemed very keen on not thinking about the event, not looking backwards, but yes, it cleary stayed with him. That's one of the many details I would love to include in the mini series. There are so many great ones like that, that would make such a thing amazing.
     
  8. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

  9. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    He wrote an autobiography, "Titanic and Other Ships," and there is a biography of him, "The Odyssey of C.H. Lightoller." He lived a life of action and adventure.
     
  10. Avigliana

    Avigliana Active Member

    Charles Lightoller, a real old fashioned British Hero, being interviewed by the BBC radio in 1936 about the sinking of The Titanic, a real gem/time piece.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/titanic/5047.shtml

    Wikip. version of Charles Lightoller
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lightoller


    A Night To Remember, the British made film, recommended viewing with out the special effects classed with The James Cameron Version 1997. I would recommend viewing this film.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Night_to_Remember_%281958_film%29
     
  11. Emanuel1940

    Emanuel1940 Member

    His son Brian Lightoller was killed on the 4 September 1939 on the raid on the Emden. Brian is remembered on the Emanuel School Second World War Memorial.
     
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  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    LIGHTOLLER, HERBERT BRIAN

    Rank:

    Flying Officer

    Trade:

    Pilot

    Service No:

    37884

    Date of Death:

    04/09/1939

    Age:

    21

    Regiment/Service:

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve



    107 Sqdn.

    Grave Reference

    4. B. 13.

    Cemetery

    SAGE WAR CEMETERY

    Additional Information:
    Son of Comdr. Charles Herbert Lightoller, R.N.R., and Sylvia Lightoller, of Twickenham, Middlesex.
     
  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Granville raid - Wikipedia

    Lieutenant LIGHTOLLER, FREDERIC ROGER

    Died 09/03/1945

    Aged 38

    H.M.S. Odyssey.
    Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

    D S C, Twice Mentioned in Despatches

    Son of Comdr. Charles Herbert Lightoller, D.S.C., R.D., R.N.R., and Sylvia Lightoller; husband of Marcia June Lightoller, of Southgate, Middlesex.


    INSCRIPTION
    BELOVED HUSBAND OF MARCIA DEAR DADDY OF DAPHNE. ALL IS LOVE THERE IS NO DEATH
    Casualty
     
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  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Father

    Titanic Survivor. Born in Chorley, Lancashire and began his life as a seaman at age thirteen. His career with the White Star Line began in 1900. On the R.M.S. Titanic he served as Second Officer and on the ship's fateful night he was in charge of even number life boats on the port side. After the ship had sank he and thirty men had climbed onto a overturned collapsible boat and paddled the rest of the night. At dawn the Carpathia arrived and began rescuing survivors. He helped all the survivors out before he climbed aboard himself, becoming the last Titanic survivor rescued. During WW I, he served in the Royal Navy as captain of torpedo boat HMTB 117 and destroyed Zeppelin L31 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. In 1919 he returned to the White Star line, retired in the early 1930's and started a small boat yard in the Thames estuary. During "Operation Dynamo" on June 1, 1940, to rescue British soldiers at the French port of Dunkirk, he with his yacht rescued 130 men from the Germans. During WW II, the Royal Navy engaged him to work with the Small Vessel Pool. He went on to run a boatyard called Richmond Slipways, building motor launches for the London River Police. He passed away in London at age 78.https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8165323/charles-herbert-lightoller

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Baptism: 19 Feb 1842 St George, Chorley, Lancashire
    Frederick James Lightaller - [Child] of Richard Lightaller & Anne
    Abode: Chorley
    Occupation: Cotton Spinner
    Baptised by: John Kendall

    Death: December 12, 1913 (aged 71)
    Waipawa, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
    Place of Burial: Waipawa, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

    First marriage:

    Lancashire Marriages: 1863
    LIGHTOLLER Frederick James
    WIDDOWS Sarah Jane
    Old Fylde Register Office or Registrar Attended

    Second marriage:

    Marriage: 6 Jan 1876 St Laurence, Chorley, Lancashire
    Frederick James Lightoller - Full, Esquire, Widower, Chorley
    Margaret Barton - Full, Spinster, Adlington
    Groom's Father: Richard Ashton Lightoller, Cotton Spinner
    Bride's Father: Thomas Barton, Esquire
    Witness: Thos. Barton; S. M. E. Hertland
    Married by License by: J. S. Master Rector

    Baptism: 24 Apr 1874 St Laurence, Chorley, Lancashire
    Charles Herbert Lightoller - [Child] of Frederick James Lightoller & Sarah Jane
    Born: 30 Mar
    Abode: Highfield House Chorley
    Occupation: Cotton Spinner
    Baptised by: Fredk. J. Owens
     
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