Photographs of the dead


Andrew Maheux

Member
Dec 4, 2000
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In one of my books it says the bodies that were not identified were photographed in case they could be identified later. Does anybody know were these photographs are and are they open to the public?

Any info will do great.

Thanks,

Andrew
 
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Rolf Vonk

Guest
Hi Andrew,

I've a source that says that 75 identificated and 75 unidentificated bodies were photographed for eventually later identification. The 75 identificated bodies were photographed because they were not "claimed" by relatives. Photographing them was just a precaution for later. The pictures of the bodies are so horrible that they are unsuitable for publication. I'm sorry, but I can't tell you were these pictures are.

Hope this helps,

Rolf
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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There have actually been a couple of discussions on this topic within the last year. I believe that one posting said that not all of the the pictures survive, and that those which do are not in one lot but are in separate collections. If you go into the archive, they (the postings) shouldn't be too hard to find. A few of the photographs have been published, with two in Mr. Eaton and Mr. Hass' book, but I assume that if one needed to see the rest he or she would have to locate the various owners and work something out with them.
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
Hey Rolf,

Does this source provide any information regarding the identity of those photographed?

Thanks

Ben
 
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Allison Lane

Guest
Ben--

I remember looking through that book and nearly having a seizure when I turned the page and came across those photographs--that was definitely a sight I could have done without. I seem to remember one of the two bodies in the photographs either being identified or presumed to be a steward. I could be wrong, though, and anyone who actually has the book can go right on ahead and correct me!


-Allison L.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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One was crewman "C. Smith" and the other an unidentified crewman who they believe may have been a bath steward. Those pictures surprised me as well, as they were not in the first edition and I wasn't expecting them as I read through the second. If those were the most presentable of the lot I can't imagine wanting to see the others.
 
Mar 20, 1997
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I have the edition of the Eaton/Haas book with these pictures as well. C. Smith was among the last five bodies recovered and I was shocked to see his photo published considering how gruesome the sight was.

The other photo was disturbing for another reason. While that man appeared much more recognizable, it was quite sad to see that he had never been identified. I believe he was number 265. Does anyone know if he has finally been identified which brings me to my other question. I recall that recovered bodies such as Jenny Henrickson and Wendla Heininan had been identified only in the last five to ten years. Did post-mortem photos figure in these IDs? Can anyone comment on the usefulness of any remaining post-mortem photographs as a way of providing further identifications of the unknown bodies that were recovered?
 
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Jason Long

Guest
Not to be morbid, But can any of you please scan those photos and send them to me at
" thomaswknight@hotmail.com "
And also the name and author of the book in
question? Thank you...
I think after seeing them, it sound's like i'll wish I hadn't, but I must see what the poor souls end up like...
Jason Long
(Lost soul in the wrong era trying to relive his past!!!!)
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
Could someone scan them to me too please at hbenholme@aol.com.

It may be the only means of knowing what some of these people look like.

One point: I'd imagine that other bodies would have been in better condition that C. Smith. He was recovered by the Montmagny and therefore, would have advanced further into decomposition than those recovered by the Mackay Bennet or Minia.
Just a thought.

Regards
Ben
 
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Rolf Vonk

Guest
Hey Ben,

The source didn't provide any information regarding the identity of the photographed. I told all I know about those pics. Were the pictures mentioned above in the Eaton/Haas book 2nd edition? I ordered the book weeks ago and it's still not here, cause it has to come from England. Though I find it morbid to place those pics in the book, I'm a bit curious how they look.

Regards,

Rolf
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Rolf: Yes, they are in the second edition, and are of "C. Smith"(#329) and #265.

If you look in the archive, there are a few threads pertaining to this topic, with one particularly interesting posting which speculates that the prints now in the hands of a collector were once part of an album which may have been sent to White Star offices as part of the I.D. process.

Jason and Ben: I tried scanning the pictures for you, but they don't come out well on my scanner.
There are two different books. One is Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy, second edition, (pg. 243) by John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas, and the other, which I don't have, is listed in the archive.
 
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Jason Bidwell

Guest
Maybe it's my imagination, but I have always thought that body #265 bore a strong resemblance to Steward W. Ennis. That's a subjective opinion, so take it for what it's worth.
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
Hi Jason,

A while ago I decided to have a go at "identifying" some of the unidentified bodies recovered. However, this was without the aid of photographs (I'm undecided as to whether or not I want to see them!)-I did it based on description. For example, #39 could be Daniel Marvin, Lucian P.Smith, Vivian Payne or Ben Foreman, #54 could be Alfreda Anderson or Mrs. Victor Rosblom and #233 could be Len Lam or Lee Ling. Just a few ideas.
It would be interesting (if a little grusome!) to see if #265 did indeed bear a resemblance to W. Ennis. I don't suppose you have a scanner?!?

Regards
Ben
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Jason: I checked, and you are right. For the benefit of those who do not have a scanner, here are a few interesting similarities #265 appears to have suffered a broken nose, as his left nostril is at an odd angle to the right, and from what can be made out in the picture the nose itself seems to be pushed towards the right. In the photograph of Mr. Ennis on pg 78 (Eaton and Haas) Mr. Ennis' nose also seems to be angled towards the right. The space between #265's nose and upper lip seems to be larger than average, and in Mr. Ennis' photo the same is true. Both have shallow-set eyes, and wide mouths. Both share high foreheads and squarish faces, with rounded chins. The facial discoloration and slight swelling on #265 make it hard to compare the cheekbones, but altogether it is a fairly interesting match.

BEN: I have your address (and sorry about the delay in getting you those Martin Rothschild pictures- I've not forgotten them, but can't find them) and if you like I can mail the pictures of Mr. Ennis to you. If no one can send them to you via scanner let me know.
 
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eleni

Guest
can someone tell me which books or maybe web sites have pictures of the dead bodies that were recovered, i do understand that they are disturbing but since i have seen the beauty of the Titanic, i feel that now is the time to see the horror of it as well. Please e-mail me the information at: Elenaki@aol.com
Thank You,
Eleni
 

Earl Chapman

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Jan 2, 2005
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In addition to the two photographs of Titanic's dead published in the Eaton/Haas book, Steve Santini published two other photographs in his book "Titanic: Touchstones of a Tragedy." Page 59 shows the remains of body numbers 92 and 278. As far as I know, bodies 92 and 278 remain unidentified. The coroner's notation on the back of one of photos speculated that one of the men was "possibly a fireman."

Steve Santini also stated in his book, that a New Brunswick undertaker named Thad Stevens who was called to Halifax to work on the bodies of reclaimed victims, later claimed that John Snow, a Halifax undertaker, had personally told him that he had seen evidence of gunshot wounds on the bodies of some of the recovered victims. There are other threads on this message board which discusses this issue.
 

Earl Chapman

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Jan 2, 2005
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An earlier post stated:


Quote:

"I have seen the beauty of the Titanic, I feel that now is the time to see the horror of it as well."





The April 30th, 1912 edition of the Halifax Evening Mail described the scene when the Mackay-Bennett arrived at the Dockyard in Halifax.


Quote:

"The first bodies taken ashore were those of the crew. These bodies had not been embalmed or even sewn up in canvas and presented such a gruesome sight that it would be almost impossible to picture. The bodies were carried on stretchers by members of the MacKay-Bennett crew and at times as many as 30 to 40 bodies were in a heap on deck where they had been taken from the ice-filled hold. The 2nd class passengers and steerage were sewn up in canvas bags, and these were brought ashore later. The bodies of the 1st class passengers were in coffins on the poop deck and were the last to be brought ashore. They were embalmed and had all been identified."





The Evening Mail had also quoted embalmer John Snow Jr. as saying:


Quote:

"There was awful evidence of the fierce struggle for life, hands clutching wildly at clothing, faces distorted with terror. But it is no use to try to describe what we saw. To do so is impossible. As I said, ours was a sickening task."





Later, Snow would deny he made these comments.

Earl Chapman
Montreal, Canada
 
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Micheal Napier

Guest
If it is not to much trouble I would also like to see the horror of such a diseaster, that no film can ever depict. If it is possible could someone please send me the pictures at my email: naps53@hotmail.com

Thank you
 

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