Bude’s Titanic Archie Jewell

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It is hard to imagine Bude having much to do with the ill-fated Titanic. In the post of lookout in the ‘crow’s nest’ just before the ill-fated Titanic struck ice was young (23) Archie Jewell of Bude. Archie was born in King’s Street, into a well known local sea-faring family. He was a quiet man, a non-drinker and non-smoker. Maybe the Temperance movement had an impact but he seemed an all-round good egg.

As quartermaster of the Titanic, his duties included watch-keeping on the wheel. His emergency duty was to coxswain one of the lifeboats, which fortunately secured his survival. Archie was the first person to be questioned at the lengthy subsequent inquiry, and one of the few Titanic witnesses to be thanked by the court. His watch had finished two hours before the iceberg was struck, so there was no culpability.

After the Titanic, Archie was back at sea on the Lusitania when she was torpedoed off Ireland. He survived again. Not sure I’d have opted for a third crack at drowning, but Archie did and was, this time, less lucky.

On crossing the Channel to bring back some war wounded, the hospital ship struck a rogue mine and sank. Yes, poor Archie went, too, leaving behind a wife and a son.

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