BOLTON-born Captain Stanley Lord has been vilified for more than a century.

The captain of the Californian stood accused of ignoring Titanic’s distress calls after the huge ship sank on April 15, 1912.

His is the parallel story of Sir Arthur Rostron, also from Bolton, who was hailed a hero when his ship, Carpathia, rescued more than 700 people from the Atlantic on the night the Titanic went down.

Despite campaigning to clear his name for the rest of his life, and several petitions following his death, Captain Lord has never been free from blame.

It has also been proved that any action by Captain Lord would not have led to a different outcome to the tragedy, as Californian would have arrived well after Titanic had sunk.

Now, the man who took up Captain Lord’s case has claimed he was treated unjustly.

Bob Howarth, who was leader of Bolton Council for more than 20 years, started campaigning to clear Captain Lord’s name when he died in 1962.

He was approached to raise the matter in Parliament when he was MP from 1964 to 1970.

Mr Howarth said: “I do believe the skipper of the Californian was treated unjustly. The court reports seem to focus on the Californian.

“The Titanic was going full speed ahead, despite being warned about the ice, and the captain was encouraged to do so to make it the fastest crossing of the Atlantic.

“There is responsibility on the captain of the Titanic.“ Captain Lord was vilified, yet I have read the reports of him, he would not have left a ship in trouble.

That is not likely at all.”

He added: “Rockets were let off not as they are today but sometimes for a show for the passengers.

“There is a question of how far away the Californian really was. The captain had stationed her for the night so she would have been drifting.

“The Carpathia was praised to the skies, quite rightly so. The survivors owe their life to the Carpathia, but the more I look into it I feel Captain Lord was made a scapegoat.

“As with all accidents it is a combination of circumstance and unhappy events which in this case led to the loss of so many lives. It is very sad.”