Post Event Press Release  Updated 22nd April 2002

Global Radio Link-up to Honour Titanic Hero

Godalming, Surrey, will be the focus of a world-wide radio link-up on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April 2002 - the 90th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage to New York and went down with the loss of 1490 lives.

The link-up is being organised in co-operation with Guildford & District Radio Society and Godalming Museum by the Titanic Wireless Commemorative Group - a group of local amateur radio enthusiasts - to honour the memory of Jack Phillips, Chief Wireless Telegraphist aboard the Titanic. 

Born and bred in Godalming, Jack Phillips, 25, stayed at his post sending out distress signals in Morse code to alert other ships - which saved over 700 lives - before he went down with his ship two hours and 40 minutes after it struck the iceberg.

The Group plans to set up both a modern short wave station and a replica of the Titanic's Wireless Room in a public building - the Wilfrid Noyce Centre, Crown Court, Godalming - with radio aerials erected on the adjacent sportsfield. From there, many hundreds of radio amateurs world-wide will be contacted using Morse code. The plan is being supported by Waverley Borough Council and Godalming Town Council.

The chairman of the Group, Brian Grist, one of the originators of the plan to commemorate Jack Phillips' heroic deed believes that radio amateurs will wish to join in this tribute to Jack's dedication and sacrifice by making contact with this unique radio station using Morse code transmissions. "Morse was Jack Phillips' sole means of alerting rescue vessels to the predicament of the Titanic", says Brian. "Exchanging greetings with radio stations world-wide using the same code will be a fitting tribute to his heroism." 

Titanic's radio call sign - MGY - will be remembered in the special call sign for the event - GB90MGY - issued to the Group by the UK Radiocommunications Agency. The station will be on-air and manned continuously from 9.30am on Saturday 13th until 6.47am on Monday morning 15th April when the transmitter will fall silent at the exact time in the UK when, ninety years ago, the last distress message went out from the Titanic.

The station will be open to visitors from 10.30am to 6.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday, 13th and 14th April and admission is free. There is car parking on-site at the Wilfrid Noyce Centre.

Members of the Group will be on hand to explain who our experienced Morse operators are in contact with, where they are located in the world, and what is being said. Visitors will have the opportunity to see lots of Titanic memorabilia, early wireless equipment and maps - and even use a Morse key!

Introducing the anniversary weekend, Ralph Barrett, broadcasting consultant, will attend the Borough Hall, Godalming, on Friday 12th April, to give an illustrated presentation entitled: "Titanic and the Wireless SOS", which will include a new and more accurate perspective of the tragic events. The talk will feature sound recordings made by Titanic survivors which have never been publicly heard in Britain before. Ralph's presentation will begin at 7.30pm. Tickets 3.00 from Godalming Museum, address below.

Complementing the special event station, there will be an important exhibition at Godalming Museum from Tuesday 12th March to Saturday 25th May which will describe the Titanic disaster and Jack's heroic efforts in detail. The museum is open Tuesdays to Saturdays and admission is free.

For further information, please contact:

Titanic Wireless Commemorative Group: 
Michael Shortland (G0EFO): Tel +44 (0)1483 574996;
Godalming Museum: 109a High Street, Godalming, Surrey +44 (0) 1483 426510
Derek Watson, Museum Publicity Officer: Tel +44 (0)1483 414673

Click here for "The Jack Phillips Story" - The operators, the radio room, the dramatic messages and the ice warning which might have saved the ship
GB90MGY - information for Radio Amateurs and Short Wave Listeners:
Click here for technical details, bands, frequencies, QSL information and list of sponsors