Teri, Yes, that's rather what I was meaning, putting aside the feelings of the family - is it salvage or not? Does the fact that it didn't find its way to the sea bed make any real difference? Had something been found floating at the wreck site back in 1912, recovered, kept until now, and then sold, is there a difference between that and raising artefacts purely for their commercial value? Anyway, wrong thread here!
Geoff. is there a possibility that the family members selling these items are in need of money, and by selling it, the money will go towards a bigger cause? An old pocket watch and letters will not put food on the table, put a child through college or pay a high doctors bill. Just a thought before I put any feelings towards the issue.
To answer your question of "Had something been found floating at the wreck site back in 1912, recovered, kept until now, and then sold, is there a difference between that and raising artefacts purely for their commercial value?", I would always question the motives of anyone who has salvaged anything from the wreck. Is it for personal (or commercial) profit, or is it to return personal items back to its original owner's family? Anything salvaged on the debris field such as cups and saucers I would not have any salvage questions to, and am of the position that these items should be salvaged for public display, and public display only. Replicas can be manufactured for sale and profit, if one wishes to head in a commercial profit direction.
Sensitivity comes in to play when items are taken from a body. I would like to think that in 1912 when items were removed from bodies that it was done so that the items might be returned to the relative's owners. For this reason I would say yes Geoff, there is a difference between that and raising artifacts purely for their commercial profit.
Sensitivity comes in to play when items are taken from a body. Iwould like to think that in 1912 when iterms were removed from bodies that it was done so that the items might be returned to the relative's owners.
I wish that was only true Teri. When I last spoke to Allan Ruffman in Canada, I had the biggest shock of my life. For years afterwards there were many objects removed for some of the recovered bodies, some of these personal objects included pocketwatches, money, pens, cufflinks etc etc etc. Most were never returned to any of the relatives because they didn't know that the White Star Line Offices in New York City, retained them all under lock and key. There was even a selection of photographies of the bodies just in case someone might come forward and try to identify the deceased concerned.
It all went pearshape for White Star when they really forced with no option but to merged with Cunard in 1934. For some unknown reason all the personal belongings from the bodies that were safely tucked away in New York City, did a disappearing act, and they have never been seen since.
Some more information on this (and, another big shock);... although it is assumed that the belongings of victims were actually returned to the White Star Line, there is actually no proof that these items ever made it to the offices in New York, or, ANY White Star Line office for that matter. I would love to hear what sort of proof Mr. Ruffman has which shows these personal possessions actually made it to New York. I would imagine he is assuming this is the case because it is noted in period documents what was found on each body and the also listed are the initials "WSL", indicating that the objects found with which particular corpse were designated to be returned to the White Star Line. I personally believe these items, like the body photogrpahs, never left the Canadian Maritimes and were "spirited away" by individuals who wished a momento of the disaster. This may seem crude and very unrespectful and not at all fitting with our modern perception of the reverence held for the dead in 1912, but it is likely the truth. I know for a fact an undertaker in Hampton, New Brunswick clipped a WSL button from the uniform of a body he was assigned to work on. Another undertaker (who was actually on one of the body recovery missions) "somehow" ended up with a victim's finger ring in his possession. When I lived in Halifax, I personally saw objects which came from bodies and SHOULD have not been where they were. It is not logical to assume the relations of victims were not aware of any belongings held in New York because we know the Nova Scotia Government sent out notifications to next of kin asking for notorized statements before relations could claim effects of those lost. In closing, it is worthwhile to mention that on display at the MMA are the gloves worn by Titanic victim Charles Hays. I may be wrong, but I believe these gloves were not donated by Hays' family they were returned to, but, in fact were removed at the time of Mr. Hays' recovery by the Minia and were later donated to the Government by a third party. This is yet another example of the belongings of a Titanic victim going astray. Despite what Mr. Ruffman or anyone else in Halifax would like to believe, the dispersement of victims' belongings was not always as proper as is commonly believed. Of course the items that seem to have gone "missing" over time seem to have been those recovered from unidentified victims. Certainly every effort was made to return the belongings of identified victims.Hope this was of interest, Steve Santini.
Woke up this morning to find another unexpected surprise from yourself! However I don't dispute your word for one second, because I am a firm believer that there is always two sides a story,and not one.
If I may could I send you a private e-mail because by rights we shouldn't really be discussing this matter under the Lets Meet Forum. By a mircale something has emerged elsewhere and has taken me almost five years to discover!
Hello out there, if anyone who is booked in as a delegate for the BTS Convention has not yet heard from the Hotel, please let me know. Currently the situation is that there are no available rooms as we have in excess of 200 guests booked in. We also expect a day attendance of between 3 and 4 thousand forthe 90th anniversary. A few boat tickets are left for the Sunday river tour of the docks, anyone is welcome for a small charge (£5).
OK, hands up who is coming to the BTS convention this year. I, as ever, will be installed in a slight groove I have been wearing in the carpet by the bar over the last few years (nothing in comparison to the groove that bar wears in my wallet).
I look forward to sharing a few jars with many of you, or possibly sharing many jars with a few of you!
I'll be there with bells on. Duets at the piano post 2 am, anyone? Molony is already pre-selling tickets for his performance. Shall open the wallet and let a few moths fly out in order to buy you a pint, Phil, and am beyond ecstatic at the prospect of seeing the Cook and Rose Ann again!
Of course I'll be there and looking very forward to seeing you again in Southhhhhhhhhhhhhampton. Unfortunately it isn't looking like Patti can get the time off work this year. Muffet Brown (great-granddaughter of Molly) will be there with us as well.