A TITANIC MYTH. THE CALIFORNIAN INCIDENT. Together with: DEFENDING CAPTAIN LORD. A TITANIC MYTH, PART TWO. Together with: THE CALIFORNIAN INCIDENT. TEXT OF A PETITION ON BEHALF OF THE LATE CAPTAIN STANLEY LORD, EX. S/S "CALIFORNIAN", PRESENTED BY THE MERC
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(1) : William Kimber, 1st.ed., 1986. 281 pp., 25 photo-plates + 6 ills in text. D.j. 24 x 16cm. (2) : Malvern Wells, 1st.ed., 1996. 191 pp., 11 photo & other ills. D.j. 24 x 16cm. (3) : Liverpool, 1st.ed., Feb., 1965. 67 pp., 3 photos + 1 other ills. C.c., 21 x 14cm. All FINE. In 1912 the White Star liner TITANIC struck an iceberg and sank in mid-Atlantic with the loss of some 1,500 lives. Government courts of inquiry set up afterwards in both the UK and the USA found that while TITANIC was sinking, another British ship, the CALIFORNIAN, lay stopped for the night less than 10 miles away. Both courts ruled that the CALIFORNIAN'S master, Captain Stanley Lord, could have taken his ship to the rescue but failed to do so. Captain Lord was never allowed to present his side of the case. He strongly denied these charges throughout his life and maintained that his ship was actually 30 miles away from the TITANIC. He was forced to leave Leyland Line and although he found employment with another British line six months later, his reputation has remained under a cloud ever since. He retired from the sea in 1927 and died in 1962. Lord had been a member of the Mercantile Marine Service Association since 1897. Leslie Harrison (1913-1997) was General Secretary of the MMSA in Liverpool during the post-war era. In 1958 the former captain of the CALIFORNIAN, Captain Stanley Lord, entered the offices of the MMSA to lodge a protest about the film A Night to Remember. Once again Lord found himself cast as the villain of the piece and he died in 1962 at the age of 85 still fighting to clear his name. The author was moved by both the evidence and by the man himself, and took up Lord's case and continued to fight for the Captain to his dying day in 1997. When the wreck of the TITANIC was discovered in 1986 she was in a position only five miles from where Captain Lord had said she had been in 1912, but fourteen miles from the position accepted by Lord Mersey's official inquiry. In 1996 Harrison produced a powerful sequel to A Titanic Myth, containing a wealth of new background information to the case defending Captain Lord, including an account of an extraordinary confrontation between the author and Captain Lord's advocate, Captain Ivan Thompson, the President of the MMSA in 1961, who for "personal reasons" was determined to put an end to the Association's support for Captain Lord. Harrison also leads up to a critical analysis of The Ship that Stood Still (1993), the most exhaustive attack on Captain Lord yet published. There are also some reflections on the conduct of the British Inquiry in 1912. Given the publicity in the book (1955) and film (1958) A Night to Remember, demonstrating for the first time how widespread was the belief in Captain Lord's guilt, the MMSA (founded in Liverpool in 1857 with the aim of improving the status and general conditions of shipmasters and officers serving in the British Mercantile Marine), took up his case and in the mid-1960's presented this petition to the Board of Trade. The case remains an internationally controversial topic dividing Captain Lord's supporters and critics. THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING CAPTAIN LORD & THE CALIFORNIAN INCIDENT IN 1912. LESLIE HARRISON'S TWO BOOKS PLUS THE MMSA BOOKLET IN LORD'S DEFENCE.