The body of Walter C. Porter, 10 Knox street of S. Porter & Co., last manufacturers, 25 Union street who met his death in the Titanic disaster off Newfoundland banks April 15 was brought to Worcester at 12:22 o'clock this morning, in charge of Waldo E. Sessions, of George Sessions Sons Co. undertakers.
Word from Mr. Sesions was received in Worcester yesterday from Bangor, announcing that the body would arrive this morning. The train was met at the union station by men from the firm and taken to the undertaking rooms for the night. The body will be prepared for burial. The family has not completed arrangements for the funeral but it will be Saturday.
The body was one of 300 bodies recovered by the Mackay Bennett cable ship which was sent to the scene of the disaster by the White star company to recover all the bodies possible. Of the 300 bodies, 200 were taken to Halifax. About 100 were buried at sea because they were past recognition.
Mr. Porter's body is in an excellent state of preservation. Other bodies that were laid out in the Corling rink at Halifax to be identified were not in good shape as some of them were struck by pieces of ice and wreckage. Some of the bodies awaiting identification, Mr. Sessions says, are black from exposure and injuries.
Mr. Sessions left Worcester Sunday for Halifax. The Mackay Bennett got into Halifax at 9:00 o'clock at Tuesday forenoon and the bodies were immediately taken in to the Curling rink where they were laid in rows.
Mr. Sessions had a letter of introduction to the medical examiners of Halifax , Dr. Finn, from Dr.David Lovell, who was Dr. Finn's roomate at Columbia college. Dr. Finn was of great assistance to Mr. Sessions and enabled him to go into the rink as soon as it was opened. Within an hour Mr. Sessions had identified the body, and had it on the way to the depot. He had it placed on a train for Bangor at 5 o'clock Tuesday night.
Mr. Sessions says that there are thousands of people in Halifax to identify or try to identify, and that the hotels are crowded. There are two trains a day from Halifax and he was anxious to secure Mr. Porter's body and get away before the rush. With the assistance of Dr. Finn, he was able to do so.
"The White star line people are giving the people there every possible courtesy and the officials and all the people of Halifax are extremely courteous. The hotels are all crowded and the city is packed with people," said Mr. Sessions, "I was surprised to find Mr. Porter's body in such a fine state of preservation. Everybody is trying to assist in the identification of bodies and in getting them to parts of the country where they belong. All the ordinary red tape accompanying the transportation of bodies through the country is being waived to railroads and state officials. Usualy there is strict laws to be complied with and hermatrically sealed caskets are demanded by the law in the transportation of bodies on trains. All of this is being waived by the officials and it helps greatly."
" The railroads are doing all they can and have arranged for extra men at various places where there is likely to be need of extra men to load and unload bodies."
Mr. Sessions said he did not see or hear of the body of Charles Asplund, who was drowned in the disaster and whose body is suposed to be at Halifax. He said that if the Asplund body is to be sent express it is likely that it will be at least a week before it arrives in Worcester. Mr. Sessions reported that the White star company had made arrangements to send bodies to any part of the world that relatives wanted them sent and said the company representatives at Halifax are willing to do anything in their power to assist the relatives in locating and caring for the bodies.
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(1912) Body of W.C.Porter Reaches WorcesterWorcester Telegram (ref: #2899, accessed 23rd April 2014 12:49:41 PM)
URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/body-wcporter-reaches-worcester.html
Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Tuesday 18th May 2004, last updated Wednesday 23rd April 2014.