Monday, April 11, 2016

Titanic Halifax NS

August 2013 - Halifax Nova Scotia

This week is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic so I am reblogging this entry.

I am fascinated with the history of the Titanic. I've seen the travelling exhibit of artefacts in Toronto, visited the shipyards where she was built in Belfast and also visited the great museum in Branson Missouri. AND in 2015 while in Ireland we visited Cobh where the Titanic made her last stop.

So on our trip to Halifax I had to visit the graveyard where many were buried. We drove to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery located about seven kilometres from downtown Halifax.

The Minia had been at sea when the Titanic sank, but returned to Halifax in order to collect the necessary supplies before sailing from the Central Wharf on April 22 for the scene of the disaster. After eight days of searching, the Minia was only able to find 17 bodies, two of which were buried at sea. On May 6, the Canadian government vessel CGS Montmagny left Halifax and recovered four bodies, one of which was buried at sea. The remaining three victims were brought from Louisbourg, Nova Scotia to Halifax by rail. The fourth and final ship in the recovery effort was the SS Algerine, which sailed from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador on May 16. The crew of the Algerine found one body, which was shipped to Halifax on the SS Florizel.

Once you reach the graveyard there is plenty of signage to direct you to the Titanic section. 

A complete list of the Fairview Lawn victims can be found at this link.

A grave marked "J. Dawson" gained fame following the release of the 1997 film Titanic, since the name of Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the film is Jack Dawson. Many filmgoers, moved by the story, left flowers and ticket stubs at Dawson's grave when the film was first released, and flowers continue to be left today. Film director James Cameron has said the character's name was not in fact inspired by the grave. More recent research has revealed that the grave actually belongs to Joseph Dawson, an Irishman who worked in Titanic's boiler room as a coal trimmer.

On April 17, the Halifax-based Cable Steamer Mackay-Bennett set sail with a minister, an undertaker and a cargo of ice, coffins and canvas bags. She arrived at the site on April 20 and spent five days carrying out her grim task. Her crew was able to recover 306 bodies, 116 of which had to be buried at sea. On April 26, the Mackay-Bennett left for Halifax with 190 bodies. She was relieved by the Minia, also a Halifax-based cable ship.


King, Ernest Waldron. Lived at Currin Rectory, Clones, Ireland. Occupation - Clerk, Pursers Assistant. 28 years old. (Born in Dublin, Ireland).

Body number 321. Interred at Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Memorial stone in Fairview Cemetery reads:- In loving memory of Ernest Waldron King, Currin Rectory, Clones, Ireland, died on duty, SS Titanic, April 15, 1912. Aged 28 years. ''Nothing in my hand I bring simply to thy cross I cling. 321.

In April 1998 at Sotheby's Auction in London A postcard sent from RMS Titanic posted from Queenstown dated April 11 1912. The reverse in pencil and reading: 'Dear Tom, Just leaving Queenstown, splendid weather, you might write 25th and address Plymouth, with love Dad x'. the front of the John Adams postcard with a polychrome image of the Titanic at sea with her dimensions underneath together with a sepia photograph of the sender of the postcard in his naval uniform and an official memorial card, the reverse depicting the ship at sail and the inside with a poem and memorial, with The Daily Graphic's Special Titanic Memoriam dated April 20th 1912, consisting of 18 pages of text and illustrations concerning the disaster (4) various sizes, the postcard with some foxing and with one corner detached and another torn off. The Lot made £3,105. Source

Most of the gravestones, erected in the fall of 1912 and paid for by the White Star Line, are plain granite blocks. In some cases, however, families, friends or other groups chose to commission a larger and more elaborate gravestone.

The occupants of a third of the graves, however, have never been identified and their markers contain just the date of death and marker number. The date marked is April 15 even though Titanic started sinking on the 14th. 2:20 AM April 15 is the recorded time of its sinking into the North Atlantic. The remains were recovered on the 15th.


Mr Ernest Edward Samuel Freeman, 43, was born in London.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 5 Hanley Road, (Freemantle, Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. He was listed as Chief Deck Steward on the Titanic but he was actually a secretary to White Star chairman J Bruce Ismay. He received monthly wages of 3 15s.

Freeman lost his life in the disaster, his body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett(#239).

Bruce Ismay also made arrangements for a personal pension to be paid to Ernest Freemans relatives. Source

Everett Edward Elliott was born in Edmonton, London, England on 15 November 1888. He was the son of John Arthur Elliott (1840-1926) and Emma Jane Elliott (1845-1903) (1). His father was originally from Quebec and his mother was from Plymouth, Devon. They married in Lambeth on December 22, 1863.

When Everett signed on to the Titanic as a trimmer, he gave his address as the Sailor's Home, Southampton, but was still residing permanently at 1 Wilmington Street, Clerkenwell. As a trimmer he could expect to receive wage of £5 10s per month.

Herbert Cave; a 34 year old married man from Southampton, served in the capacity of dining room steward in Titanic’s first class dining saloon. Herbert Cave did not survive the sinking. His body was later recovered and numbered #218. Among the items found on his body is the “Third Proof” passenger list, which was retained in Canada and is now held at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada.

This list now widely referred to as the “Cave List” is not the only copy of this rare document. While there may well have been tens of copies of this list circulating aboard Titanic, bedroom steward William Faulkner is the only other known person to have saved a copy as he escaped in one of Titanic’s lifeboats. As a vital source for cabin allocations, the “Cave List” provides by far the greatest number of first-class passenger names and their cabin allocations than any other known source, thus being the most important document for this purpose. This cabin list is a “Third Proof” copy, which means there were two other “Proofs” printed before it. The “First” and “Second Proof” would have contained the names of passengers and their cabin allocations as were known to date of printing.

George Frederick Charles Talbot was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 26 December 1891. He was the first child of Alfred George Talbot (1870-1950) and Ellen Ada Ockleford (1874-1961).

As a third class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.

lma was married to Nils Pålsson who worked as a miner in Gruvan, Bjuv, Skåne, Sweden. Following a major strike Nils tired of mining and because the only professions available in Bjuv were miner, brickworker and farm hand he decided to emigrate. On 10 June 1910 he received his emigration certificate and travelled to Chicago. Having gained employment as a tram conductor Nils set about saving enough money for his family to join him. He lived at 938 Townsend Street, Chicago.

On board the Titanic Alma got to know August Wennerström. When the ship was sinking it took a long time to prepare the four children and Alma came too late for the lifeboats. She met Wennerström on the Boat Deck near collapsible A. Wennerström tried to hold on to two of the children as she had asked him to but when water came up them Wennerström lost his grip and both disappeared.

Mrs Pålsson and the children boarded the Titanic at Southampton. They all perished in the sinking. Nils clung to the hope that stories about a rescued boy might refer to one of his children. He spent much money and time looking in vain for the boy but eventually Mr Pålsson was informed at the Chicago offices of the White Star line that his family was among the missing. Source

One of the Titanic's most famous passengers, a little boy known as the “unknown child,” has finally been identified, according to a team of American and Canadian researchers.

The remains of the young boy are “most likely those of an English child, Sidney Leslie Goodwin,” Ryan Parr, vice president of research and development for Genesis Genomics Inc. in Ontario, and colleagues write in the June issue of the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics.

Recovered from the Atlantic's icy waters five days after the luxury liner sank, the body of the small child was buried with some 150 other Titanic victims in a cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia.According to an article printed in the attached link April 2011.

You can read about the little boy's funeral in this article.

Mr William Henry Harrison, 40, of "Sudbury", Grove Road, Wallasey, Cheshire was secretary to J. Bruce Ismay. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton (Ticket No 112059, cabin B-94) with Mr Ismay and Ismay's valet Richard Fry.

Many of the graves had carnations on them.

Mr Arthur Gordon McCrae, 32, was born in Adelaide on 7 January 1880. Arthur's grandmother was Georgiana Huntly McCrae (1804-1890) the (illegitimate) daughter of George, 5th Duke of Gordon and Jane Graham. Georgiana migrated to Australia with her husband Andrew (1800-1874). They had nine children, the fourth was Farquhar Peregrine R. McCrae, Arthur's father

Arthur was the youngest son of Farquhar Peregrine Gordon McCrae (1838-1915), a former inspector of the Bank of Australasia, Sydney, Australia, and Emily Aphrasia Brown. Source

Mr Harold J. Reynolds, 21, from Lewisham, London, boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (Ticket no. 342684).

Reynolds, who gave his address as 10 Courthill Rd. London, was a baker who was on his way to join a fellow baker in Toronto who had emigrated to Canada and done well for himself. Source

The majority of the bodies were unloaded at the Coal or Flagship Wharf on the Halifax waterfront and horse-drawn hearses brought the victims to the temporary morgue in the Mayflower Curling Rink.


Surveyor E. W. Christie laid out three long lines of graves in gentle curves following the contours of the sloping site. By co-incidence, the curved shape suggests the outline of the bow of a ship as my husband pointed out.

Only 59 of the bodies placed in the morgue were shipped out by train to their families. The remaining victims of the Titanic were buried in three Halifax cemeteries between May 3 and June 12. Religious services were held at St. Paul's Church and at the Synagogue on Starr Street. Burial services were held at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Brunswick Street Methodist Church, St. George’s Church and All Saint’s Cathedral.

Twenty-nine other Titanic victims are buried elsewhere in Halifax; nineteen in the Roman Catholic Mount Olivet Cemetery and ten in the Jewish Baron de Hirsch Cemetery.


  1. What an interesting cemetery, I loved reading all the inscriptions...what a unique visit

  2. Looks like you could spend a good few hours wandering that cemetery. I understand that there are Titanic survivors buried in one of the Calgary cemeteries - so plan to do a tour one day to learn more.

  3. The layout of the cemetery and the sizes and placement of the headstones add some visual appeal. I had to look up the trimmer, didn't realize it was a job on a ship.
    I vaguely remember that there was a Halifax connection but didn't realize this cemetery was there.
    Thanks for taking us on this virtual tour.

  4. This must be such a somber place. All your details certainly put a face on the tragedy. We've been to a traveling Titanic exhibit but have never been anywhere near one of the cemetaries. I wonder how they decided who to bury at sea and who to carry back to land.

  5. There is something fascinating about the Titanic! A very interesting post.

  6. What a lovely post Jackie. It's important that history lives on to remind us of our past. Thanks for sharing this week and I hope that you return soon.

  7. Your post with lots of details about the sinking of the Titanic is very interesting. Each grave reminds us of a personal tragedy.

  8. Very interesting to read the real history...what a task that must have been to recover the bodies and then to get them buried. How very sad.

  9. How interesting to read. Most folks are intrigued by this event and I like hearing more about it. Thanks for sharing.

  10. this post is so interesting...i too am fascinated with anything titanic but have never seen the graves sad :(

  11. Wonderful post, thank you so much for bringing us all along on your visit.

  12. Fascinating. I can't get enough of the Titanic ... I don't know why. I'm adding this cemetery to my travel list.

  13. The Titanic is something that always attracts interest, it seems. It is sad how many unknown graves there are. Thanks for an interesting post.


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