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Titanic search success

SWANSEA Museum has landed success with its search for information on Welsh passengers on the ill-fated Titanic.

In the run up to an exhibition devoted to world famous ocean liner, its tragic end and its movie fame, council curators put out a plea for news on people from this country who had been on board.

SwanseaMuseum exhibitions and events Officer Roger Gale has now been in touch with a relative of Harold Lowe, the Officer hero that rescued more drowning passengers by steering his lifeboat back to the sinking liner.

He was famously portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd in the Oscar winning film of the disaster.

A Neath relative has got in touch, her grandfather E.E. Lowe was Harold Lowe's Uncle, and he was also a Naval man, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by King Edward VII.

Other relatives and local historians have also been in touch, with more details of the two Welsh boxers from the Welsh Valleys - Dai Bowen and Les Williams - who were both to perish in the disaster.

Roger said he was hugely impressed with the amount of fresh information being contributed by relatives of those who died.

"It might be almost a century since the disaster, but the Titanic has cast a huge shadow down the years. Apart from the movies and TV documentaries there's been a huge number of books written about what happened that fateful night.

"People never seem to lose interest and the extra information that's been contributed from our appeal will lend a whole fresh dimension to the exhibition."

Among the new contributions are additions to the stories of Swansea Valley men Evan Davies and William Rogers who were dreaming of a new life in America. The two miners perished but now extra attention has been drawn to the fact that they are remembered in a memorial at Glais Chapel.

Also told will be the story of Robert W Leyshon, the son of a solicitor from Swansea who drowned and to whom there is a commemorative plaque in Cadoxton Parish Church, outside Neath.

Roger Gale said: "It has been a delight to receive information on the Welsh people who took that fateful journey.

"There is a great deal of excitement surrounding this exhibition and I am grateful that we will now be able to produce a local element which will make the Swansea exhibition unique.

"I am still hoping for information on two crew members from the Swansea area - C.W.Samuel and W.C.Foley – who were also reported as among the missing, as yet no information on those two men has come to light."

The Titanic Honour and Glory exhibition depicts the story and tragedy of the giant vessel and will be on display at SwanseaMuseum from October 20.

Material from the Oscar-winning Titanic movie by James Cameron will form part of the exhibition and will include film costumes and the Heart of the Ocean jewel worn by Kate Winslet.

Other rare and authentic treasures from the ship will also be on show.

Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Cllr Gerald Clement, said: "The glory and tragedy of the Titanic is one of the most talked-about events of the last century and this exhibition will be a real treat for history buffs and movie enthusiasts.

"I am delighted that we are managing to include information about people from Wales who were on board the ill-fated vessel and I am sure that will add interest and poignancy to the Swansea exhibition."

The exhibition has been made possible with the help of Scottish couple Sean Szmalc and Margot Corson, who own the artefacts including those featured in the 1997 movie.

The Swansea Museum exhibition will run from October 20 and the amount of interest already shown means it will now run until March 2nd.

image depicting Titanic

Entry is free.

If you have any details related to a Welsh connection with the sinking of the Titanic, please contact Roger Gale at the Swansea Museum on 01792-653763 or on roger.gale@swansea.gov.uk 


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