False Epitaphs

Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

I know that there is a long list here on ET of Titanic "survivors" and even a few "victims" about people who had little or nothing to do with the Titanic. Some of them, like Helen Kramer, Vera Hanson, Walter Belford etc are better known than others as obvious imposters.

But what I want to know is about actual Epitaphs - inscriptions on tombstones or other memorials - where the person has been mentioned as a victim or survivor of the disaster while in reality they had nothing to do with the Titanic. In some cases, it is just an error by family and/or friends with no malicious intent.

I know one for certain. In Aldinga, a suburb of Adelaide, Australia, the gravestone of a man named Alan McRae where it is claimed that he died in the Titanic disaster. McRae was a fireman on board Student of the Harrison Line; and died due to an illness in Colon, Panama on 5th April 1912, 5 days before the Titanic even departed on its ill-fated maiden voyage. But someone mixed him up with another Aussie - a Second Class passenger named Arthur McCrae who died in the disaster but whose body was recovered by MB and remains RIP at the Farview Lawn in Halifax. The fact that there was a Fireman victim named McRae - a Brit named William McRae - probably added to the confusion.

I have communicated with somone in Aldinga who knows about the error and she admitted that Alan McRae had died in Panama and the inscription on the gravestone is just a memorial and the mention of Titanic an error.

Do other know of similar erroneous epitaphs? I do not know what is said on those of Helen Kramer or Walter Belford.