Exhumations Press Release

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Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
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Well, another Titanic mystery solved. Thank you for posting that Phil.

Best regards,

Jason
Happy
 
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Corinda Rich

Guest
I am pondering a bit of a dilemma here, and was curious if others had either heard of any news, or had thoughts of their own? Whilst, I do hope the family involved receives some measure of comfort with the identification of their relative, does this inevitably open a HUGE door for others to step forward and state they believe their relative is in grave # - whichever? Has anyone heard any such thing recently?
A small aside...Mr. Phil Hind, dear, I use two computers (home and work) so my ISP addresses will be different. Perhaps that is why my little Halloween good wish post was inadvertently NOT posted?? I hope this one finds its way!! ;)
Kindest of regards,
Corinda
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Corinda, I think you'll find that this particular can of worms was opened a long time ago. DNA testing has made it possible to identify people who couldn't be identified befor. It's one of the reasons that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington doesn't have an occuapant anymore, and probably never will.

What all this means for Titanic's unkowns is anybodys guess. This particular episode doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Out of the three exhumations done, only one had anything useful remaining. The other burials had decomposed to the point where sampling wasn't possible. After 90 years, I doubt that the others are in better shape, though much would depend on the conditions of the particular grave.
 
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Corinda Rich

Guest
Thank you, Michael...aka..Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon...hehe
I have perused this particular thread, so I didn't intend to be obtuse with my posting. My concern was that other families would be more inclined to feel that since one family found their 'closure', perchance, they could too...starting this all over anew. I realize that with DNA testing, identities that were once thought to be lost, are not any longer.
My ignorance will be evident in this, though, and my apologies are extended...Are all the graves situated in the manner that the aforementioned were? Do they also lie in this 'drainage' area? And if not, will families come forward then to try and discover if their relative lies in only a number-marked grave?
I have no intention of opening a long ago "can of worms"...my concern is if there will be more exhumations with the hope that others will find that tangible link.
At least with this finding...there wasn't a circus event surrounding it, and that is some comfort...
Regards,
Corinda
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Unfortunately, I'm not all that familier with the cemetary at Halifax. Some graves may lie outside of this drainage area, but I don't know which ones they are or whether or not there are unkowns in those plots.
 
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Eric Sauder

Member
Now that the child seems to have been identified, I'm curious to know what others think. What should be done to the marker for the "unknown" child in Halifax? Should the child's name be engraved on the original marker, or should a separate smaller, flat marker with the name be placed on the grave in front of the original so as not to "deface" what was put up in 1912?

Eric Sauder
 
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Geoff Whitfield

Member
I go along with the second idea Eric - but I'm scared that it will be yet another piece of PR work advertising how clever the scientific world has become!

Geoff
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Agreeing here with Geoff on Eric's second suggestion.

This would achieve subtle, non-intrusive amendment to the historical record that acknowledges and puts a name to this poor child's grave, without altering the original impulse of grief and sorrow that led to the erection of the first marker.

I'm not adverse to identifications if they happen in the run of research and the genuine desire of a family to know. This happens quite frequently with WWI identifications. However, I don't think it should be a gratutious academic exercise or that an identification should be 'forced' as has happened with some (now known to be erroneous or controversial) Titanic identifications or, in the case of WWI soldiers, the contentious identification of John Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's son.
 
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Colleen Collier

Member
I would be absolutely outraged if someone added a single mark to the grave marker placed there by weary, heartbroken sailors some 90 years ago. What a double edged sword they faced. First, to have come across this little baby, and then have their hopes of rememberance once again crushed when no one claimed him. It moved many in 1912 and if I remember my reading correctly, many people stepped forward and begged to be given the chance to bury him. Finally the crew of the Mackay-Bennett were chosen to. It has come to be a symbol of more than just who is ultimately buried in there, but in many ways (for me, at least) sums up the whole "mood" of the time. Placing a "name" does not change that, but IMO, just tries to cheaply cover it up. As if to say, "OK, we have a name now, so no need to mourn any longer, and remember those that perished on the Titanic".
Inger, RE: John Kipling... Curious...was he the Vietnam war soldier that was going to be plaaced in the unknown soldiers tomb? I heard the story, but don't have a name.
 
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Gavin Murphy

Guest
C,

Actually you are a few wars and a few decades off. He was the son of the famous British author who was killed in WWI.

His remains were found by Canadians if I am not mistaken only a few years ago. Closure finally for the Kiplings, but long after Rudyard's death.

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Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Gavin, have you read 'My Boy Jack' by Tonie and Valmai Holt? A fascinating look at John Kipling's short life, the search for him when he became one of the MIA of the Western Front, and the identification by Norm Christie in 1992 of a man interred as an unknown in 1919 as the author's lost only son? The book argues strongly - and fairly convincingly - that there is a powerful argument that the body identified as Kipling, originally buried as an unidentied 'Lieutenant of the Irish Guards' may not in fact be him.
 
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Colleen Collier

Member
Thanks Gavin. I will look into this story as well, and try to retrace where the heck I read the story I mentioned. Seems to me it was a Readers Digest, a long time ago.
 
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Geoff Whitfield

Member
Sorry about this but:

Young man to young lady: "Do you like Kipling?"
Young lady "I don't know, I've never been Kipled!"

Sorry again............

Geoff
 
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Karen Christl

Member
a quote from young kipling " if they ask us why we died, tell them because our fathers lied" the grave of the unknown child should be left alone, it isn't just a monument to that child, but all those children & adults that died on that cold april night. the same as the tomb of the unknown siolder in canberra's war memorial is every man & all of us
Happy
kaz
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