TODAY marks 113 years since the Titanic sunk, killing more than 1,500 passengers and crew. But did you know a man based near Blackwood was the first to pick up distress signals from the stricken ship?

Amateur radio enthusiast Artie Moore, was at his home at Gelligroes Mill in Pontllanfraith, when picked up the SOS signal sent from the Titantic as she started sinking.

It was at the 17th century water mill in 1912 that the wireless experimenter received calls for help after the Titanic hit an iceberg, but, after racing to inform local police, no-one in the area believed him.

The mill was home to the Moore family and Arthur (Artie) Moore, who lived between 1887 and 1949, was a keen wireless experimenter, using his homemade, crude radio equipment on that fateful night.

He received a faint morse code transmission which said "Require immediate assistance. Come at once we have struck an iceberg. Sinking, we are putting the women off in the boats."

Mr Moore continued copying signals he was receiving, hardly believing the words he was writing.

The final signal he received was "Come quickly as possible old man our engine room is filling up to the boilers."

He raced to the local police station to inform officers of the terrible news, but nobody believed him.

It was only two days later when it was announced in the national press people realised he had been right.

The receiving of these signals is believed to be the only land-based reception in the UK, possibly the world, as they were relayed to Newfoundland by other ships.

Mr Moore was given a job in the Marconi company as a draughtsman and, in 1932, he patented the Echo-meter - an early form of sonar.


How the Argus reported the sinking of the Titanic

South Wales Argus: South Wales Argus 17th April 1912 - Report on sinking of the Titanic

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