RMS Titanic and the creation of the Guild
The Guild originated from the Titanic Engineering Staff Memorial Benevolent Fund set up in 1912 by the Institute together with the Daily Chronicle newspaper to help the bereaved families of the engineers of the RMS Titanic, which sank on 15 April 1912.
Tragically, all 35 engineers on board lost their lives, from the Chief Engineer to the Engineer’s Clerk, the ship’s designer and two engineers from Harland & Wolff.
These heroic engineers stayed at their posts until the end, maintaining electrical power and keeping the lights on throughout the ship, thereby reducing the danger of panic among the passengers. Power to the radio office was also continued enabling the transmission of distress signals until minutes before the ship sank beneath the waves.
In 1934, the Fund was expanded in response to World War I and became The Institute of Marine Engineers Guild of Benevolence. Since then, the role of the Guild has further developed to assist more generally in the relief of hardship for marine engineers, scientists and technologists and their dependants.