Second Officer Lightoller

Date of birth: March 30 1874
Place of birth: Chorley, Lancashire, England
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Sylvia Hawley-Wilson
Children: 5 children: Roger, Trevor, Mavis, Doreen and Brian
Address (at time of Titanic disaster): Nikko Lodge, 110 Station Road, Netley Abbey village, Hampshire, England
Crew position: Titanic's Second Officer
Date of death: 8 December 1952
Cause of death: chronic heart disease, aged 78

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Second Officer Lightoller

Second Officer C.H.Lightoller

Age: 38
Height: 5'10" (177.80cm)
Complexion: Dark/clear/fair
Hair Colour: Dark/auburn
Eye Colour: Grey/blue
Other: Tattoo on left arm

Notes: Lightoller's height changes from 5 ft 8 (1895), 5ft 10 (1899) to 5ft 10 1/2 (1901). Ellis Island Records list his height as 5'9" and 5'10" and weighing 169lb, so it seems 5'10" is a safe bet. It is interesting to note that according to his 1895 First Mate application he also had a tattoo on his left arm - however at present we do not know what it was. There is no further mention of it on his other applications. He is only one of two Titanic officers to have a tattoo (the other being Fifth Officer Lowe).

Biographical Information:


As the senior surviving officer of the Titanic disaster he became the centre of attention during the United States and British inquiries and also later the lead role in the 1958 film "A Night to Remember". His autobiography "Titanic and Other Ships" (1935) reads like an adventure novel as it is so deverse and full of adventure, including multiple shipwrecks and times as a gold miner, hobo and cowboy in Canada. However his reliability as a witness has been questioned as there are clear discrepencies in his Titanic evidence, including confusion over whether he used his gun. He even openly admitted to being part of the White Star Line "whitewash" for which he was never really rewarded.

After Titanic he served in the Royal Navy during World War One, including the sinking of a German U-boat UB-110 and an associated controversy over whether he committed war crimes by shooting the unarmed survivors. More famously, during World War Two, he used his small 1912 motor yacht the "Sundowner" to help evacuate allied soldiers from Dunkirk.

In addition to the official Titanic inquiries and his 1935 autobiography, we also have two radio broadcasts of his Titanic and Dunkirk experiences, so it is perhaps ironical that for the officer for whom we have probably the most extensive information, there remains an element of confusion and sometimes mystery about his life.