Fifth Officer Lowe
Date of birth: 21 November 1882
Place of birth: Llanrhos, Wales
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Ellen Whitehouse
Crew position: Titanic's Fifth Officer
Date of death: 12 May 1944
Cause of death: Hypertension, aged 61
Height: 5'8" (172.72cm)
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Brown
Other: HGL in heart on right fore arm
Notes: Lowe is described as 5 ft 8 (1906/1910) and 5ft 7 1/2 (1908), dark complexion, brown hair and brown eyes... and interestingly he had a tattoo of "HGL in heart on right fore arm". It is mentioned in each application that requests any "personal marks" so must have been prominent. According to records at Ellis Island dating from around 1920, Lowe was 5'9" and he weighed 155lb.
Harold Lowe was Titanic's Fifth Officer, but in the wake of the tragedy he was one of the few who, especially in later years, became regarded as something of a hero. Lowe came from a family of jewellers but decided not to follow the same career. Growing up on the coast of Wales, he chose a life at sea and ran away at 15 years of age.
Despite several sea-related tragedies and incidents in his life, it was the Titanic that ended up defining his heroic status. Something of an outsider, he used his own personal revolver during the evacuation, took command of lifeboat 14 without any order from a superior to do so and waited at least an hour before returning to the disaster zone, which resulted in saving 4 people from the water. Accused of racism and drinking during the subsequent inquiries, he went on to serve King and Country in both world wars, retiring to Wales where he entered local politics.
Interest in Lowe was reawakened with James Cameron's 1997 film "Titanic" that showed him returning for survivors and later with a book dedicated to his life that is highly recommended - Titanic Valour: The Life of Fifth Officer Harold Lowe by Inger Sheil.