Mr. Ralph Troupe Moodie

Ralph Troupe Moodie, of Gainesville, Texas, was a British cotton dealer traveling with his work colleague, Robert James Timmis.  On the Lusitania, Moodie was in cabin A-26, a cabin adjoining Timmis'.  Timmis would survive the Lusitania sinking.  Moodie would not. On the night of Thursday, 6 May, Moodie and Timmis saw a Greek sea captain, perhaps Michael Pappadopoulo, strap on a lifebelt, climb into a lifebelt, and sleep there all night.  No one was able to persuade the man to get out.  Timmis thought the sight was the funniest thing he had ever seen. On the day of the disaster, 7 May, Robert Timmis and Ralph Moodie played medicine ball and then cooled off with a round of drinks.  Afterwards they went down to the dining saloon to lunch.  The band was playing "The Blue Danube" and Timmis had just ordered a second dish of ice cream a few minutes after 2 p.m.  Both Timmis and Moodie had just agreed that they had "plenty of time." Before Timmis could have his second ice cream, the torpedo struck.  He thought the impact a "penetrating thrust" that had gone all the way through the ship and come out the other side.  Timmis and Moodie immediately pushed their chairs back (perhaps he meant 'turned to leave,' as the chairs in the dining saloon were bolted to the deck) and noticed that the ship had taken a heavy list before they had even left the dining room. The two then walked down to their cabins on the port side without feeling any particular need to hurry.  Their cabin was in shambles, the list having thrown around everything inside.  The list was so bad they both had to help women up the stairs.  While on deck, Ralph Moodie noticed Irene Paynter had her lifebelt on wrong and adjusted it.  The two then went up to the starboard side of the boat deck where they helped two sailors lower a lifeboat of about sixty persons. Some time afterward, the order came to empty the boats and that the Lusitania was safe.  The ship righted herself almost reassuringly.  Moodie then asked Timmis, who was busy reassuring Russian steerage passengers, "How about it, old man?" Timmis shook his head.  He believed the ship to be lost but decided against telling the steerage passengers what he believed.  A woman and her sickly husband then approached with their six-month-old baby.  This may have been Mina Chantry with her daughter Elizabeth and husband Harold from second cabin.  Moodie took off his lifebelt for the wife, but the Lusitania then took her final plunge, dragging Timmis and Moodie down with her. From The New York Times, Monday, 10 May 1915, page 7: “Moodie sank when the ship went under, and, although he was a good swimmer, he was not seen again. Moodie was all ready to jump when Timmis, who previously had given his belt to a woman, said, ‘There is a steerage woman here with a 6 month old baby.’ Moodie promptly stripped off his lifebelt, but it seemed both he and the woman perished.” Contributors: Judith Tavares References: Hoehling, A. A. and Mary Hoehling.  The Last Voyage of the Lusitania.  Madison Books, 1956. The New York Times.  Monday, 10 May 1915, page 7.  

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