Titanic bodies recovered 337


george bowes

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Feb 12, 2007
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I propose that a total of 337 Titanic bodies were "plucked from the sea"

ship: MacKay-Bennett 306, Minia 17, Montmagny 4, Algerine 1, Ilford 1, Oceanic 3, Ottawa 1, and Carpathia 4
 

george bowes

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Feb 12, 2007
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According to the Archives through February 27, 2007, I wish to note the comments of Dave Gittins regarding the bodies. Perhaps Lyons did die aboard the Carpathia. What of the other three?
 
Apr 30, 2007
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I found Dave G's post (8/2/07) on the readers comments archive concerning the burials on board the Carpathia rather confusing.

Capt Rostron had this to say in his US testimony: "We took 3 dead men from the boats, and they were brought on board. Another man was brought up — I think he was one of the crew — who died that morning about 10 o’clock, I think, and he, with the other three, were buried at 4 o’clock in the afternoon."

And critically he added: "We have the names." Did he ever state them?

The Captain went on to reaffirm these facts in his UK testimony: :"...we took three dead bodies from one of the boats and there was another man, a passenger (he had previously stated it was a crew member!), we took up from the boat who died 2 or 3 hours after we got him on board."

Unsure why Dave G is "convinced" no one died on the Carpathia as it contradicts Rostron's testimony somewhat.

Dave also states that the "best" report comes from one of the Carpathia passengers (Fred Beachler)who also confirms 4 burials. I don't know how a passenger's report would trump the testimony of the ships captain but I assume there's a good reason.

With regard to the four who were buried they appear to have been:

HOYT - picked up by Lowe in 14.

Supporting evidence of death:

US testimony from Lowe:

"I landed everybody…including the corpse of the man that had died on the boat."

SIEBERT - swam to & picked up by #4.

LYONS - swam to & picked up by #4.

Supporting evidence of death for both men:

1) US testinony from hemmings in #4

Q. Did these people you picked up all live until you reached the carpathia? "No sir"

Q. How many died? "Two"

Q.Which two? "Lyons and...one more man besides Lyons"

2) US affidavit from Ryerson in #4:

"Two of them died and several were moaning & delirious most of the time."

3) US testimony from Cunningham (a mate of Seibert)in #4

"...and besides that there was my mate, who died just after he was pulled in".

"We took the two dead men with us. They were taken on board."

4) UK testimony from Dillon in #4

Q. Whom did you find with you in the boat? "Lyons lying on top of me...and a passenger lying on top of me dead."

Note: Despite all the above testimony regarding Lyons his ET bio states he died at midnight on 16th and was buried at sea at 4.00am!!

It seems reasonable to infer that Hoyt,Lyons and Seibert were all dead when taken aboard the Carpathia and not merely unconscious as, in all probability, the fourth person (harmer?)was.

Dave G states Harmer may have been the "body" transferred by Lightoller from Coll B but in the second officer's book he states that: "I insisted on taking him (Phillips)into the lifeboat with us, hoping there would still be life" so it's more plausible that the 'lifeless body' was Phillips. No mention of any other person in his book or testimonies.

Are there any reports of Phillips being taken aboard the Carpathia?

Were any of the 3 lifeboats that were not taken aboard the Carpathia cast adrift with bodies in them?

Are there any other names in the frame as to who was alive when transferred from the lifeboats to the carpathia but who subsequently died shortly thereafter?
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello George,

I'm with Bob in not counting those whose bodies were taken on board the Carpathia, or who died there and were buried at sea.

So for me the answer is 333. Made up of: MacKay-Bennett - bodies 1 to 306; Minia — 307 to 323; Montmagny - 326 to 329; Algerine — 330 — [McGrady]; Oceanic — 331 to 333; Ilford — 334 - [Cheverton]; Ottawa — 335 - [Kerley]

The two Canadian web-sites I have found do not to include the last bodies/body:
http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mma/titanic/titanic.htm
Titanic victims buried in Halifax says: "There are 150 Titanic Victims buried in Halifax, the largest number anywhere in the world. This list includes all victims buried in Halifax, arranged by name, with unknown victims listed at the end by number. Another 119 bodies of Titanic victims were recovered but buried at sea and 59 more were shipped home to relatives."
That is only 328, which only goes up to McGrady - body 330:
"McGrady James Fairview 330 1st Class Saloon Steward 27 The final Titanic body recovered"

The last 5 bodies are not included. Under: Titanic Frequently Asked Questions it asks: How many bodies did they find? "The three ships dispatched from Halifax found 328 bodies. (Mackay-Bennett found 306. Minia found 17. Montmagny found 4. Algerine found 1.) Other passing steamers found another seven bodies (Carpathia - 4, Oceanic - 3, Ilford -1)." - 4+3+1 = 8, not 7. Listing the Carpathia as a "passing steamer" is bizarre.

Also see: http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/cap/titanic/ Interestingly it says, 337 bodies. It has 5 from the Carpathia and does not include Kerley.

While I initially saw no reason not to accept Hoyt, Siebert, Lyons and Harmer as being the bodies buried from the Carpathia, looking at Bride's book he seems to confirm Phillips' body as being in boat 12 when he was about to board the Carpathia. If so then I guess it was Phillips who was taken from B into 12. - Also look here: https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/biography/1772/

Regards,
Lester
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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I discount Lightoller's book, written long after the event, because it is not particularly reliable. He even gets the date of the collision wrong! (2-20am April 12th). (I think Lester means Lightoller's book, not Bride's).

Beachler was on the spot and his account contains the four names, more or less accurately. Rostron gives two versions that are a little contradictory.

James Bisset is even worse. He has the burial at 4-00am on Tuesday 16 April. Presumably that's where the time in Lyons' biography comes from.

Bride, as usual, is unreliable about what happened to Phillips. He gives three or four versions. The certain thing is that Phillips didn't make it to Carpathia. In his Marconi uniform, he would have been recognised by Bride, or one of the officers.

I think the only question is whether one of the four, probably Livshin/Harmer, survived long enough to die on Carpathia. It's not impossible, as hypothermia was not well understood in 1912. Even today, strange cases are seen.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I too discount Bride's 'recollection' (or afterthought, rather) that the body taken from Coll B was Phillips. The same goes for Lightoller's eventual acceptance of that particular version of Bride's story. I go with Colonel Gracie, who had most contact with the man in question while trying to revive him. He was obviously puzzled by Bride's version of events and made the point in his own book that the body was dressed like a crewman but was categorically not Phillips, and that neither he nor Lightoller ever entertained the possibility at the time. According to Gracie, Lights thought that he knew the man but wasn't sure of his identity. There's no way he could have failed to recognise a Marconi uniform, even if he didn't recognise the face.

So the 4 men brought dead or dying onto the Carpathia were Lyons and Siebert from boat 4, Hoyt from boat 14 and one other from Coll B who was most likely the passenger Harmer, though both Gracie and Lightoller had thought he might be a crew member. For reasons I have stated elsewhere, I discount the judgements made in the lifeboats about which of these hypothermia victims were alive or dead. But we do have Rostron's testimony that (in the judgement presumably of a ship's surgeon) one of the four was still alive. This would most likely be one of the two from boat 4, who had spent least time in the water and, from their cramped situation in the lifeboat, were most likely to have retained a little body heat. There are various accounts from the time which suggest it was the seaman Lyons, but at least one account names Siebert. Bearing in mind that Rostron seemed to be unsure whether he was passenger or crew, I'm inclined to think it could well have been Siebert, a man with very refined features and relatively well dressed, rather than Lyons in his seaman's garb.
.
 

george bowes

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Feb 12, 2007
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After reading the posts after my initial post of May 30, I wish to thank all for your responses. These are valuable to my research and I am still maintaining that the number of accountable bodies stands at 337, counting Lyons, Hoyt,Siebert, and Harmer...perhaps we may find/add others.
 
May 27, 2007
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I worked as a Deckhand on a Riverboat for a year and as part of our duties we would do the classic man overboard. We would throw in a dummy and go out and pull it in the boat. I feel for the sailors who had to go out and recover bodies. Not only was it depressing it hard backbreaking work at that. It took us a good fifteen minutes one day to pull in that stupid dummy one time. You see the thing is that the longer the dummy was in the water the heavier it got. My back hurt for a month afterwards like someone had speared me. Especially my lower back. A. not only were the people those who the Sailors pulling in dead and beyond all hope of restating but they had to do it over and over again. In my mind they should have got a medal for the work they did. I for one feel for them. This does have to do with body recovery in a way but isn't really part of the topic so I apologize.
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi all,

Here's another earlier discussion on the subject:

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5811/8089.html#POST42075

Hoyt, Lyons, Siebert, and Harmer were more than likely the four buried from the Carpathia as suggested above. It's often suggested that Edvard Lindell's body also made it to the Carpathia, but the chances are strong that he was lowered over the side of collapsible A after he died.

Best regards,
Ben
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>It took us a good fifteen minutes one day to pull in that stupid dummy one time.<<

Man overboards bring back a few memories for me. At least in a drill, you know exactly where the "victim" went in, and when he went in. In the real world, if he's alive, he can even co-operate in his own rescue.

No such luck with somebody who is waaaaaaayyyyy past being able to care. You've got to spot him then haul him in with no help from any muscles but your own.
 
May 27, 2007
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Michael,
I forgot about them being hard to spot. More woes for the sailors doing recovery. I thank god we never had a drunk overboard at night. Usually security would spot 'em and tell them that they weren't allowed on deck after dark. It would have been hard having to keep the victim's position while we got the boat ready to go get them with only flashlight-Searchlight.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I've been involved in night time SAR operations and I can tell you that even with a five million candlepower searchlight, it's no sweet picnic. Thr black inky gloom of the night seems to just soak it all up like a sponge. I've seen quite a few discussions from people who wondered why "only" 330 or so bodies were recovered.

Knowing what I do about how these things actually work, I'm amazed the recovery rate was that high!
 

george bowes

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Feb 12, 2007
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Upon further research,chronologically,I wish to offer re-designations: Kerley as #334 and Cheverton as #335 because Kerley was recovered on June 6 and Cheverton on June 8 (the last date a body was recovered from the Titanic)
 

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