Titanic - The Fatal Voyage - RECOVERY OF THE DEAD

RECOVERY OF THE DEAD (Illustration) Fiction Disasters Famous Historical Events Film Geography STEM World History

These baby shoes were discovered by the crew of the Mackey-Bennett who had the difficult job of recovering bodies and belongings at the Titanic wreck scene.  There is a highly improbable story attached to these little shoes.  Photo online, Atlantic Maritime Museum, part of the Nova Scotia Museum.  Copyright, Nova Scotia Museum, all rights reserved.  Image provided here as fair use for educational purposes.


A different rescue ship, the cable-laying Mackay-Bennett, searched for bodies. One hundred ninety were in good enough shape to return to families.

Additional bodies were buried at sea because of gross disfigurement caused by the wreck. Bodies that were returned to families were embalmed on board the Mackay-Bennett.

John Jacob Astor’s body was one that was recovered. Marked as Body #124, it was mangled and covered with soot. He had probably been hit by a falling funnel. The money he had in his pocket helped to identify him.

Other ships assisted in the search for bodies. More were found, but the total was disappointingly low. Of the 1491 dead, about 1200 were crew and third-class passengers, including 52 children. The entire Goodwin family - who had boarded at Southampton - died.

The town of Southampton, where most of the crew lived, was stunned. At least 500 families lost loved ones. Survivors told their stories

People mobbed White Star Line offices with requests for information. Survivors had to be processed through regular channels once they reached New York. It would take days before loved ones knew who survived and who did not.

Hundreds of bodies - many unidentified - were buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  (Five years later, the people of Halifax would bury more bodies after a ship carrying nearly 3,000 tons of explosives blew up in Halifax harbor on December 6, 1917.  An estimated 2,000 people died in that disaster - and 9,000 more were injured - in the world's worst man-made explosion before the Hiroshima atomic bomb.)

One of the bodies recovered at sea - number 227 - was identified as J. Dawson.  When that person was alive, was he Jack Dawson - the character portrayed by Leo DiCaprio in the film Titanic?

As it happens ... J. Dawson - as he signed his name - was Joseph Dawson, from Dublin.  He worked aboard Titanic as a trimmer.  His was a hard job - shoveling coal, with others, to keep the huge engines of the great ship running in top form.

Buried in a Halifax graveyard - Fairview Lawn Cemetery - J. Dawson and his marker have attracted many mourners since James Cameron released his version of the Titanic story.  Sometimes, just a name becomes a "close-enough" association.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Dec 18, 2019

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"RECOVERY OF THE DEAD" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 01, 2004. Jun 05, 2020.
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