Recovered bodies of children

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Miranda Martin

Guest
I was just wondering: why is it that so many bodies of adults were found, but only 3 of children? Could it have been because the children weren't wearing lifejackets or something? I read somewhere that all the recovered bodies had lifejackets on, except for Sidney Goodwin, who was an exception. Or maybe he bodies of the children just couldn't be spotted because they were so small.
Any information will be appreciated.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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My own opinion is that it was simply the luck of the draw. The ocean is vast and human eyes can only make out so much, especially when you have only a very few ships available to scour literally thousands of square miles of ocean.

As a sailor, the wonder of it all to me is not that so few were recovered, but that they managed to recover as many as they did.

[Moderator's note: This thread, originally posted in an unrelated topic, has been moved to this one, which is discussing the same subject. JDT]
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Speaking of 'luck of the draw' - why was Isadore Strauss' body recovered, but not his wife Ida? We know they were together at the end - personally, I expect they were on deck, and did not go below after being sighted.

Proportionally, why were more 1st class bodies recovered than 3rd? Why more Able Bodied Seamen than Ala Carte Restaurant or engineers?

"Luck of the draw", as Michael said. Modified, I think, by *where* the people were, when the ship went under. The bulk of the children were 2nd and 3rd class, who didn't in general have very good recovery rates anyway.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Luck of the draw and some especially sharp eyes on the part of a lookout. I've been involved in search and rescue which turned into search and recovery operations at sea and you can go glassy eyed looking at all that expance of water. An object as small as a human being is all too easy too miss.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>Why was Isadore Strauss' body recovered, but not his wife Ida?

Luck of the draw. One might be better commenting on the incredibly minute probability that the recovery of two linked victims, like Alexander and Charity Robins, represented.

>Proportionally, why were more 1st class bodies recovered than 3rd?

You cant really say that. You have to eliminate all of the "Unidentified: Probably Third Class/Second Class" guesses from the mix. A middle class Englishman traveling in Third Class, for instance, could be expected to have on his person the same accoutrements that a middle class Englishman traveling in Second Class would. Had Mr. Robins not carried I.D., the presense of over a thousand dollars on his corpse might well have gotten him bumped up to Second or First class. Danbom (sp) comes to mind as well... had he not been identifiable, the contents of his pockets would likely have bumped him up the class structure. Austin Van Billiard.... probably the same deal, had he been recovered.

Enough of third class did NOT conform to the Huddled Masses stereotype to make the educated guess based on clothing and effects difficult. If you show the most common published photos of Bertram Dean and Benjamin Hart to a non-Titanic buff and say "Guess which was second class and which was third" (As I just did) they tend to guess wrong. And, without a doubt, that would have come in to play in 1912 as well.

>We know they were together at the end

We DONT know that they were together at the end. We can assume that they MIGHT have been, but the last unquestionable sighting of them, as Mrs. Straus and Ellen Bird bade farewell to one another, was quite a while before the final plunge. And, the later sightings are vague, in many cases made by people (Abelseth comes to mind) who would not have known the Strauses on sight. And, are all tainted by the curse of Associating Myself However Tenuously With The Heros, aka The Mrs. Shelley And Parrish Syndrome.

We DO know, from hundreds of letters written May 8-10, 1915, of the forces that couples who try to hold on to one another as a ship sinks encounter. (No couples who sank with the Titanic left anyone to write such a letter) They wrote of overwhelming, irresistable, forces which tore chilren and spouses out of their arms, and of being spun around, buffetted, and stuck by rising and sinking debris. The Strauses, had they remained together, would have faced a more exaggerated version of the above, since they were on a ship which was actively breaking up as it sank. They were also pitched into water that was allegedly 28F, so even if the violence of the sinking did not separate them, the physical reaction to being tossed into cold water would have. When the water calmed, they were probably hundreds of feet apart from one another, and by the time the Mackay-Bennett arrived they were probably separated by miles. And, after that, luck of the draw comes into play... there is no reason why Ida SHOULD have been drifting near her husband by that point, and there is nothing at all mysterious about why she was never found.


>Why more Able Bodied Seamen than Ala Carte Restaurant or engineers?

They could well be hiding under the brief descriptions which simply list some of the victims as "Crew. Carried no effects. Buried at sea." And, the a la carte victims, who MAY have been dressed in civilian type clothes, could very well be lurking as unidentified passengers.
 

george bowes

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Feb 12, 2007
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Bill: I read through your analysis and would have appreciated your comment under the heading to the entries "Titanic bodies recovered (337)
 

george bowes

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Feb 12, 2007
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Bill: your analysis states 338 bodies. We differ as to Carpathia :4 bodies (Lyons, Siebert,Hoyt, Harmer (Livshan) and I add Kerley recovered by Ottawa (June 6, 1912.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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George,

As my article says, the number of people buried from the Carpathia is questionable. Also, since my article was written in 1999 and 2000, and hasn't been updated since then, Kerley was not added. I think I do have him on my current documentation at home, however.

These two differences are minor however, and do not materially affect the numbers or my conclusions.