The sinking of White Star Line’s RMS Titanic on 15th April 1912 sent shock-waves around the world and has touched our hearts ever since. Those who perished in this disaster will be remembered on its 100th anniversary during many commemorative events.
Within amateur radio we recognise that this event marked the first time that Morse code saved so many lives at sea. Jack Phillips (1887-1912) was the liner’s Chief Marconi Wireless Operator. He perished only after sending distress signals in Morse right until the ship foundered, thereby saving hundreds of lives. Jack was from Godalming, Surrey, where his heroism is constantly recalled. A group of local radio amateurs commemorated his heroism on the 90th anniversary of the sinking by setting up a radio station in Godalming with the call-sign GB90MGY. The letters ‘MGY’ were used by RMS Titanic for all its radio transmissions. Five years later, the Wey Valley Amateur Radio Group (WVARG), activated a similar commemorative station in Godalming, this time using GB95MGY.
For the 2012 centenary a much larger project to honour Jack’s memory will be mounted in Godalming by the Wey Valley club. From Tuesday 10th April (when Titanic sailed from Southampton), until the day of the sinking, Sunday 15th April, two transmitters will be manned continuously, with the special call-sign GR100MGY (Godalming Remembers the Centenary of the Titanic Disaster). There will be a short pause in transmissions at 05.47 GMT on the Sunday, the time when distress messages ceased minutes before the liner sank. The transmitters will make contacts around the world, mostly in Morse code, targeting 15,000 two-way exchanges. Each contact may be confirmed with a specially printed card depicting Titanic and Jack Phillips.
We offer our grateful thanks to Charterhouse for providing operating facilities at their excellent Godalming location, to Ofcom for allocating the special call-sign and to Waverley Borough Council and Godalming Town Council for their support and embodying this event in their commemorative programme.
During Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th April, from 12.00 noon until 4.00pm, the general public will be welcome to visit the station to observe the transmissions and to participate in this memorable commemorative event.
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