TODAY marks the 108th anniversary of one of the world's largest maritime disasters, the sinking of the Titanic.

And it was the day too when the blood of a Gwent amateur radio enthusiast ran cold.

For Arthur 'Artie' Moore picked up the distress signal from the stricken ship, thousands of miles away in the chill Atlantic, at this home in Gelligroes Mill, near Pontllanfraith.

But no-one believed him until days later when news of the tragedy, in which more than 1,500 people died, reached the mainland.

South Wales Argus:

Artie Moore

Mr Moore was 26 years old at the time, and the signal came through on his homemade wireless radio set-up in the early hours of April 15 1912.

He raced to inform police about the distress calls that he picked up from the Titanic, but they did not believe him.

One of the distress calls he had received was faint but read: "CQD CQD SOS de MGY Position 41.44N 50.24W. Require immediate assistance. Come at once. We have struck an iceberg. Sinking." CQD stood for ‘come quickly, distress’ and MGY was the radio name for the Titanic.

South Wales Argus:

The radio set that picked up the distress signal from the Titanic

The last message he received said: "Come quickly as possible old man our engine room is filling up to the boilers."


Radio contact with the ship was lost around two hours after the first distress signal was received.

Mr Moore could not believe what he was hearing, nor that he was not believed by the police.

It was to be two days later, when word reached the mainland that the Titanic had sunk, and with confirmation that the ship had used the new SOS message as well as the ‘come quickly distress’ signal, that Mr Moore was finally believed.

The signals picked up by Mr Moore were thought to be the only mainland contact received from the Titanic, with further distress calls being relayed to Newfoundland, on the other side of the Atlantic, by other ships.