North West Wales

Titanic hero Harold Lowe: Blue plaque unveiled at Deganwy home

A blue plaque has been unveiled at the retirement home of Titanic hero Commander Harold Lowe.

Lowe was fifth officer when the liner struck an iceberg and sank in April 1912 with the loss of 1,517 lives.

Records show he commanded the only lifeboat to look for survivors, pulling four people from the freezing water.

Lowe lived in the waterfront house in Deganwy, Conwy, for 13 years until his death in 1944 aged 61. His grandson, John Harold Lowe, now lives there.

Mr Lowe, a retired merchant navy captain, said his grandfather was known locally as Titanic Lowe.

However, Mr Lowe does not remember his grandfather, who died when Mr Lowe was still a toddler.

Lowe, who was 29 at the time of the disaster, was one of four of the ship's officers to survive, and was played by the Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd in the 1997 film Titanic.

Family photographs show the Titanic officer cuddling his grandson.

Mr Lowe said: "I've always held him in great esteem. Now that he's getting some recognition, that's even better.

"Within the house, we've had various photographs up. I was proud to be associated with him, although in those days I hadn't delved into it.

"I knew he'd saved people but didn't realise the extent that he'd gone back [in a lifeboat to rescue people].

"He was very reticent to talk about it.

"He talked to his son, my uncle, about it, but it was forbidden to talk about it."

Image caption The plaque is on the house where Harold Lowe lived until his death aged 61 in 1944

The plaque was commissioned by the History of Deganwy Group and was unveiled on Tuesday afternoon.

It comes a century to the day after the Titanic set sail from Southampton on its fateful maiden voyage, when it struck an iceberg en route to New York.

History group member John Griffiths said Commander Lowe served as a Conwy town councillor and during World War II was an air raid warden.

He said: "He was a high-profile councillor. The plaque is to remember him and his bravery."

He was born in Eglwys Rhos, Conwy, and went to school in Barmouth, Gwynedd.

During World War I he was a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve and when he died in 1944, he was buried in Llandrillo yn Rhos in Conwy.

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