|Sinking of the Titanic|
On Saturday, April 14th, 1912, at 11:40 P.M. the largest and most luxurious
ocean liner in the world, the Titanic, struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic
during her maiden voyage. At 2:20
A.M. the massive ship disappeared under the icy waters. Just over a third of the 2,200
passengers and crew were still alive, sitting in the half filled
lifeboats, or trying to swim and stay alive in the frigid waters.
|Carpathia after rescue|
the Carpathia arrived the next morning to rescue survivors, only 700 remained
alive. Over 1,500 people had died that night, most of them second and third
in the Dead
|Attending the dead|
|CS MacKay - Bennett|
White Star Line chartered four ships from Halifax, Nova Scotia to search for
remains after the sinking.
Halifax, located 700 miles west of where the Titanic went down, sent out
Cable Steamer MacKay-Bennett on April 17th to search for bodies. CS MacKay-Bennett was carrying an
undertaker, a minister, 100 coffins, canvas body bags, embalming fluid, and a cargo
of ice. She arrived at the scene on April 20 and remained for 5 days. 306 bodies were found during that time.
Of those, 116 had to be buried at sea. 209 were delivered to Halifax – of those
30 were not identified.
CS Minia relieved the CS MacKay-Bennett of its mission on April 26. The Minia was loaded with 150 coffins
and twenty tons of ice. Due to rough weather, only 17 bodies were recovered, of
those two were buried at sea.
May 6, the CGS Montmagny departed Halifax and recovered four more bodies, one
that was buried at sea.
final ship to recover a body was the SS Algerine. It was that of Saloon steward James
McGrady, who was interred in Fairview Lawn Cemetery on June 12, 1912.
month after the sinking, the Oceanic discovered Collapsible A drifting out at
sea. The lifeboat contained three bodies.
total of 340 bodies were recovered in all, 128 were buried at sea, 209
were delivered to Halifax.
|Hearses wait for the dead|
death as in life, first class passengers were given the preferential treatment of
being placed in coffins. Second
and third class passengers, along with the ship’s crew were placed in canvas
bags and unloaded on the Coal or Flagship Wharf of the Naval Dockyard. Horse-drawn hearses arrived there and
carried the bodies to the makeshift morgue set up in the Mayflower Curling Rink
|Come to claim the bodies|
came to Halifax to collect their dead and 59 were shipped back to their
families. The remaining 150 who
were either not claimed, were claimed but families could not afford to ship
them home, or those who could not be identified, were buried at three Halifax
|Stone for body number 179|
|Stone for George Swane|
White Star Line purchased plain gray granite markers for the deceased, listing
the name and date of death, April 15th, 1912. For the 30 unidentified remains only
the date of death and a marker number is engraved on the stone.
Lawn Cemetery received the most
victims from the Titanic. One
hundred and twenty-one were buried here.
The graves are laid out in a curve, similar to the hull of a ship. Fairview Lawn was established in 1893
as a public cemetery, located at the North End of Halifax. Of over 100 passengers, one third have
never been identified. The city of
Halifax paid for the burial of 120 of the victims.
|Fairview Lawn Cemetery|
|Description of child|
|Sidney Leslie Goodwin|
grave known for decades as ‘The Unknown Child’ is located here. Sailors of the CS MacKay-Bennett, the
ship that recovered his body, paid for his burial and carried his casket to its
resting place. His headstone reads
“Erected to the memory of an unknown child whose remains were recovered
after the disaster of the "Titanic" April 15th 1912' In 2002 the child was tentatively identified as
13-month-old Elno Vijami Panula of Finland. But after forensic testing in 2007, he was re-identified as
19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin from Fulham, England.
Lawn also contains the remains of “J. Dawson.” This is the grave of Joseph Dawson, a coal trimmer on the
Titanic from Dublin, Ireland.
Oddly enough, this name is similar to the name of the character Leonardo
DiCaprio played (Jack Dawson) in the 1997 film, Titanic. Film
director James Cameron said there is no connection between the film’s character
and the Irish Joseph Dawson. But
Dawson’s grave it one of the most visited in the cemetery.
|Poster of Orchestra|
located here is the body of 21-year-old John (Jack) Law Hume of Dumfries,
Scotland. Hume boarded the Titanic
at Southampton, traveling with seven other musicians who made up the orchestra
for the trip. (Hume played the violin in the orchestra.) All eight men were traveling as
second-class passengers in exchange for their performing during the voyage.
Shortly after midnight the band assembled in the First Class Lounge and began
to play a variety of music. When
passengers began boarding lifeboats, the band reassembled near the Boat Deck
and continued to play until the ship listed, then the band members were gone.
|John (Jack) Hume|
Olivet Catholic Cemetery interred
nineteen Titanic passengers.
Established in 1896, this Roman Catholic cemetery has over 25,000
interments. The graves for Titanic
|Mt Olivet Cemetery|
Ali, Batiste Bernardi, J. F. P. Clarke, Maurice F. Debreucq, Mansour Hanna,
Ignaz Hendekovic, Petril Lemberopoulis, Henru Jalliet, Wenzel Linhart, Thomas
Morgan, Servando Ovies, Pompeo Piazzo, Margaret Rice, Georgis Youssif, Hileni
Zabour, and the bodies of three women and one man, who remain unidentified.
|Frederick W. Wormald|
de Hirsch Jewish Cemetery was
established in 1893. Ten Titanic victims are buried here. According to reports
of the time, Rabbi Jacob Walter of Halifax searched through the rows of
victims, trying to locate those of Jewish descent. He realized that at least ten of the victims had been Jewish
and had those bodies interred in Baron de Hirsch Cemetery. All were male but
only three were identified; Titanic saloon steward Frederick W Wormald, and
passengers Leopold Weisz and Michel Navratil. It was later discovered that Wormald was of the Church of
England, and Navratil, who boarded under the alias Louis Hoffman, was Catholic.
|Rabbi with graves|
|The Titanic Orphans|
Navratil was traveling under the assumed name of Louis Hoffman for a specific
purpose. Namely, to spirit away
his two young sons, Michel Jr, age 4 and Edmond, age 2, to American. After a recent separation from his wife
Marcelle, Navratil took the children for what was to have been a weekend stay
in Southampton, England. Instead,
he boarded the Titanic with them, with plans to start a new life in
America. When Navratil realized
that no one was coming to the ship’s rescue and the ship Titanic would not
survive, he placed his two sons in one of the last lifeboats. The two boys became known as the Titanic Orphans. It took
officials and the media over a month of searching and posting photos of the two
before their mother was reunited with them in New York.
|Children reunited with mother|
|Grave of Leopold Weisz|
Weisz was a Hungarian born stone carver, just married and on his way to Canada
to start a new life. His new
bride, Mathilde Pede, survived the tragedy. Weisz did not. He had sewn over 50 pounds in gold, his
lifesavings, into his coat before they set sail. His body was recovered from the Atlantic, still wearing the
coat, with the gold weighing it down.
The money was to have been used for them to make a new life in Montreal.
|His Business Card|
recovered bodies were numbered as they were retrieved and listed by sex and
estimated age. Hair color, facial
hair, any identifying marks such as moles, birthmarks or tattoos were also
noted. A description of what type
of clothing each was wearing was given, along with any personal effect found on
the body. The class of passenger
or crew title was given, if known, and the person’s name was listed last, if
|Typed description of body|
bodies have been identified in the intervening years. Take, for example, body number 8 described when found as:
|Wendla was identified |
– ESTIMATED AGE, 25 – 30, HAIR, FAIR
–Red striped skirt; green petticoat, grey ditto, knitted ditto; blue
flannelette drawers; black button boots and rubbers, size 8; thick grey
MARKED ‘ ‘V.H.’ in red on front.
woman was identified in 1991 as 23 year-old Wendla Maria Heininen of Laitila,
Finland, on her way to New York.
Wendla was buried in Fairview Lawn cemetery and her name has been added
to the side of her stone.
the tragedy occurred one hundred years ago, its impact is still felt –
Titanic disaster led to the first International Convention for the Safety of
Life at Sea (SOLAS) held in London
on November 12, 1913.
this session it was mandated that there were to be an adequate number
of lifeboats (equal to the number of passengers) on board all ships, and that lifeboat drills must held.
was also ruled that the firing of red rockets from a ship must be considered a
|Firing Distress Rockets |
formation of the International Ice Patrol was ordered so that the Atlantic
Ocean would be monitored for icebergs posing a treat to sea traffic.
Radio Act of 1912 stated that
passenger ships would maintain radio communication 24-hours a day and have a
backup power supply. Ships were
also required to maintain contact with vessels in their vicinity and with
coastal onshore radio stations.
|Titanic Radio Room|
tragedy also brought about design changes in the building of ocean liners and
ships including double hulls and fully watertight compartments.
Sunday, April 15th, exactly one hundred years after the Titanic
disaster, an interfaith memorial and candlelight procession will be held at the
Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax.
Flares will be set off at the time the Titanic began sinking, and the
Nova Scotia provincial government will tweet the Titanic’s final emergency message
@ https://twitter.com/#!/nsgov (Final message was sent at 2:17 A.M. but never
completed. Ship sank at 2:20 A.M.)
|New York Herald|
you would like to assist with the care and maintenance of the Titanic victims' graves, donations can be
The Halifax Titanic Graves Trust Fund
PO Box 1749,
Canada, B3J 3AS
This was such a tragedy that here we are, still enthralled by it 100 years later. Thank you for such an indepth and interesting account.These are all facts that are usually not relayed.ReplyDelete
Thanks for reading Gayle!Delete
Thank you for this post! I gladly shared it on twitter, facebook and google+...ReplyDelete
What a fantastically interesting post! Thank you so much for sharing.ReplyDelete
Rebecca, I appreciate the shares!!ReplyDelete
Herding Cats, I'm glad you enjoyed it!!
Thanks to both of you!