Pages of the Sea is a project created by Danny Boyle. On 11 November 2018, the centenary of the end of World War I, tens of thousands gathered on beaches to say goodbye and thank you, to the millions of men and women who left their shores during the First World War, many never to return. 32 portraits in the sand appeared around the UK.
Perranporth created a portrait of Bude’s Archie Jewell as their contribution, so, on this Remembrance weekend, it seemed fitting to share it and revisit Archie, best known for surviving the sinking of Titanic.
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 a young man in his twenties, 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.
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.
He was at sea on the Lusitania, which was said to carrying munitions from the USA, when she was torpedoed off Ireland. He somehow survived again, despite the attack resulting in the death of 1,198 people.
On crossing the Channel to bring back some war wounded, the hospital ship SS Donegal struck a rogue mine and sank in 2017. The SS Donegal sank with the loss of 29 wounded British soldiers and 12 of her crew. This time, the sea claimed Archie.