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Victims recovered by the MacKay-Bennett are laid to rest

Shared on 4th May 2021 by David Lean

May 4th 1912 - In Halifax, the body of the baby boy recovered on the first day of Mackay-Bennett's search for Titanic victims is laid to rest. Using money that they received as a reward from Vincent Astor for finding the body of his father John Jacob Astor IV (whose funeral is also coincidentally being held today in New York) the Mackay-Bennett's crew pay for a coffin, funeral and large headstone. Within the boy's coffin, they place a bronze plaque reading 'Our Babe'. The young boy's identity will not be confirmed for another 95 years. 

Meanwhile, the bodies of third class passenger Owen Allum, first class Saloon Steward Arthur Lawrence and Titanic's Band Leader Wallace Hartley are transferred to Boston so they can be transported back to England aboard the White Star Liner Arabic.

Of all the bodies to be recovered, only 59 will be repatriated; if families want to bring their loved ones home, they have to pay £20 fee to the White Star Line. With many people unable to afford the cost of transporting victims of the disaster some elect to pay for a larger headstone for the grave sites in Halifax. 

Across the Atlantic, the 54 sailors who left the Olympic after failing to come to terms with the White Star Line face court in Portsmouth. The Magistrate finds that the charges of mutiny are proven but owing to the special circumstances surrounding the case, all the men are released without any penalties or fines. To avoid a public outcry, White Star permits all the mutineers to return to work; Olympic will resume her transatlantic service on May 15th. 

(Photograph 1: Grave of the Unknown Child at Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Courtesy of the Toronto Star / Photograph 2: 19 month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin who was positively identified as the Unknown Child in 2007. He, his parents and five siblings were travelling in third class; all of them perished in the sinking. Courtesy of Wikimedia / Photograph 3: Remains of the bronze plaque that the Mackay-Bennett's crew placed in Goodwin's coffin. It was discovered in 2001 when the grave was exhumed for DNA testing. Courtesy of PBS / Photograph 4: Funeral procession of John Jacob Astor IV in New York City, May 4th 1912. Sourced from News Whistle / Photograph 5: 1905 C. W. Hunt & Co. of Liverpool printed art postcard showing the White Star Liner Arabic. From my Collection)

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C.S. Minia recovers 17 bodies

Shared on 3rd May 2021 by David Lean

May 3rd 1912 - After a week long search, the C.S. Minia leaves the recovery area and sets a course for Halifax having found only 17 bodies, two of whom, both unidentified members of the crew believed to be firemen, had to be buried at sea. With winds and ocean currents dispersing the remains, there is now little hope of finding anyone else.

Back ion land, burial of the Titanic victims recovered by the Mackay-Bennett has commenced with 36 people being laid to rest. The dead will be interred at Fairview Lawn Non-Denominational Cemetery, Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery and Baron de Hirsch Jewish Cemetery. 

(Photograph 1: Minia at sea / Photograph 2: A crewmen aboard Minia lifts a canvas cover to show the remains of male Titanic victims lying beneath it / Photograph 3: The body of third class passenger Sigurd Hansen Moen, the third victim recovered by Minia and 309th body to be found overall / Photograph 4: Titanic victims are interred at Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax. Images courtesy of Encyclopedia Titanica, Public Archives of Nova Scotia, the Boston Post, John P. Eaton, Charles Haas and PBS)

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