As a child, Harold Lowe had wanted to be a sailor. By age twelve, he swam a half mile to shore when a boat he was on with his father capsized. At the age of fourteen, Lowe's father tried to force his son to accept an apprenticeship from a Liverpool shipping firm. Harold was dead set against this. He did not want to work for anybody, let alone for free. Eventually Harold ran away from home and spent seven years on schooners, switching to square-rigged sailing ships and finally to steamers when he earned all his certificates.
He also served in the Royal African Mail service and following this, Lowe joined the White Star Line. Lowe did not have a formal education, however he was an enthusiastic seaman and a plain spoken individualist.
Accounts from passengers of the Titanic and testimony at the U.S. Inquiry proved Harold Lowe to be the most conscientious officer and best all-around sailor aboard. Lowe was also the only officer to return with one of the lifeboats to search for survivors.
Lowe, like other officers of the Titanic, never became a captain while in the merchant service but attained the rank of commander and recieved the Reserve Decoration (RD) while serving in the Royal Naval Reserve during The Great War.
He eventually left the sea and returned to his home in North Wales. After this move, Lowe became active in local politics.
In 1944 Commander Harold Godfrey Lowe, RD, RNR, (ret) died at his home in Wales.