Purser McElroy's Body



I was wondering why Chief Purser McElroy's body was buried at sea and not sent to his family. It seems that a high ranking crew member such as the chief purser would have been given back to his relatives. I know that Walter Lord had McElroy on his list of possible suicides but there was no mention of a gunshot wound on McElroy's body by the crew of the Mackay-Bennett. I guess I just found it surprising that a popular White Star figure such as McElroy was buried at sea. Anyone who has any information would be most appreciated.

mary mason

Aug 24, 2003
i'm no expert on this in any way but this is what i think.
on his biography, it says " The body was not immediately identified as that of McElroy and was buried at sea."
so i would *guess* that the body was badly decomposed, so the crew wrote down the effects and things and buried him at sea, and then he was indentified after he had been buried.


Hi Mary,

Thank you for the info, I overlooked the aspect of him not being identified at first. That makes sense considering just how badly the elements affected some bodies. I guess the crew of the Mackay-Bennet could not distinguish his uniform from those of other seamen. Thanks again.

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