Letter calling for a Carlisle Memorial

by

JOSEPH BELL CHIEF ENGINEER R.M.S. TITANIC

Many people in the northwest of England and nationally, will on April 15th the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, wonder why Carlisle County Council has failed to honour in any public way over the last 100 years the Cumberland born heroic Chief Engineer of the Titanic, Joseph Bell, born 1861 in Farlam, nr Brampton. In the early 1870’s Joseph and his family moved to Stanwix, Carlisle where he continued his education.

Recognizing and distinguishing this Cumbrian hero in this centenary year in a more permanent way is long overdue in Carlisle. Cumbria County Council have an opportunity in spite of any other priorities, to express their respect and honour on behalf of us all in the County of his birth, Cumbria.

Joseph Bell and his engineers stayed at their posts in the engine room till the ship sank into the ocean, and as a consequence of their collective courage and self-sacrifice saved many hundreds of lives.  Their heroic action in sustaining the functioning of electrical power, keeping the lights burning, and wireless going enabled the life- boats to function too.

This unsung engineer Joseph Bell and his fellow engineers have memorials to them in Southampton, and at the Pier Head in Liverpool, but why is he so shamefully neglected in Cumbria’s Carlisle?  Please let Cumbria put matters to right in this centenary year and honour him in his own land.

Barrie Bell Hodgson, bandjhodgson@gmail.com

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