Nova Scotia's Connections to the Titanic Disaster - April 14/15, 1912

Everyone knows the story of the Titanic but not everyone knows of Nova Scotia's connections to the ill-fated White Star Liner ship.


GEORGE HENRY WRIGHT -

Born in Tufts Cove on October 26, 1849, George Henry Wright made a name for himself (and a fortune) as a printer, publishing Wrights World Business Directories. He was also a philanthropist and a property developer. He was dedicated to create better living conditions for the working class and in Halifax, built a subdivison integrating the rich and working class where mansions and modest homes stood side by side. This was one of the first like it in the world. Two of his public buildings, The Marble Wright Building (1672 Barrington Street) and The Saint Paul Building, (1684 Barrington Street) still stand in downtown Halifax. He left his own house (989 Young Avenue which also still stands today) to The Local Council of the Women to be used as their headquarters.


In April of 1912, Wright was in Paris, having sailed to Europe in the fall of 1911 aboard the Empress of Ireland. Having heard about the Titanic's maiden voyage, Wright booked his return passage on the famous ship. It is assumed he booked his ticket at the last minute as there is no record of Wright on the original passenger's list. No survivors reported seeing Wright during the sinking. It is assumed by those who knew him well that he simply slept through the sinking, given that he was such a deep sleeper.

His body, if ever recovered, was not identified. A grave marker in Dartmouth’s Christ Church Cemetery memorializes Wright.












HALIFAX SHIPS USED TO RECOVER BODIES - At 11:40pm on Sunday, April 14, 1912, Titanic sturck the iceberg. By 2:20am on Monday, April 15, 1912, she sank. On Wednesday, April 17, the Halifax-based Cable Steamer Mackay-Bennett set sail for the sinking site. She arrived on April 20 and spent five days searching and recovering bodies. Her crew recovered 306 Titanic victims (bodies 1-306), 116 of whom were buried at sea. On Friday, April 26, the Mackay-Bennett set sail for Halifax with 190 bodies on board and was relieved by another Halifax-based cable ship, the Minia. Visit Encyclopedia Titanica for a comprehensive list of all of the victims recovered by the Mackay-Bennett. Some of the more well known victims recovered by the Mackay-Bennett include John Jacob Astor, Sidney Leslie Goodwin (formerly the Unknown Child), John Hume (one of Titanic's musicians), Michel Navratil and Alma Palsson.

Unidentified victims recovered by Mackay-Bennett

Body number 5 - Mount Olivet Cemetery

Body number 6 - buried at sea

Body number 13 - Mount Olivet Cemetery

Body number 20 - buried at sea

Body number 24 - buried at sea

Body number 29 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 30 - buried at sea

Body number 33 - buried at sea

Body number 39 - buried at sea

Body number 40 - buried at sea

Body number 42 - buried at sea

Body number 44 - buried at sea

Body number 48 - buried at sea

Body number 54 - buried at sea

Body number 56 - buried at sea

Body number 60 - buried at sea

Body number 63 - buried at sea

Body number 65 - buried at sea

Body number 74 - buried at sea

Body number 76 - buried at sea

Body number 78 - Baron de Hirsch Cemetery

Body number 84 - buried at sea

Body number 87 - buried at sea

Body number 88 - buried at sea

Body number 92 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 94 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 95 - Buried at sea

Body number 99 - Buried at sea

Body number 102 - Buried at sea

Body number 105 - Buried at sea

Body number 106 - Buried at sea

Body number 112 - Buried at sea, possibly John Coleman

Body number 113 - Buried at sea

Body number 114 - Buried at sea

Body number 117 - Buried at sea

Body number 118 - Buried at sea

Body number 128 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 129 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 132 - Buried at sea

Body number 134 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 136 - Baron de Hirsch Cemetery

Body number 137 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 139 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 154 - Buried at sea

Body number 160 - Buried at sea

Body number 162 - Buried at sea

Body number 164 - Buried at sea

Body number 170 - Buried at sea, possibly John Hall Hutchinson

Body number 179 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 180 - buried at sea

Body number 182 - buried at sea

Body number 194 - buried at sea, possibly Henry James Beauchamp

Body number 198 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 199 - buried at sea

Body number 203 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 210 - Mount Olivet Cemetery

Body number 213 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 214 - Baron de Hirsch Cemetery, possibly William Thomas Fox

Body number 216 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 219 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery, possibly M. Rame?

Body number 220 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 228 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 229 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 237 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery, suggested to be Frederick Humby

Body number 240 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 241 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery, initially identified as Stephen Weart Blackwell

Body number 248 - Baron de Hirsch Cemetery

Body number 254 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 257 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 264 - Baron de Hirsch Cemetery, possibly Thomas Ryan

Body number 265 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 278 - Baron de Hirsch Cemetery

Body number 279 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery, possibly John Borthwick Crosbie

Body number 281 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 288 - Mount Olivet Cemetery

Body number 289 - Baron de Hirsch Cemetery

Body number 291 - Baron de Hirsch Cemetery

Body number 296 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Body number 303 - Fairview Lawn Cemetery


The Minia searched the Atlantic for 8 days and recovered 17 more victims (bodies 307-323), 2 of whom were buried at sea (bodies 310 and 318). 3 male bodies remain unidentified (numbers 308, 310 and 318). See below for the list of the 14 identified victims recovered by the Minia. Click their name for the link that will take you to Encyclopedia Titanica's comprehensive biographies of each victim. For comprehensive information on all of Titanic's victims and survivors, Encyclopedia Titanica is a great resource. Body number 308 is buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery.


ABĪ SA'B, MrJirjis Yūsuf - Mount Olivet Cemetery

CARTWRIGHT, MrJames Edward - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

DONATI, Sig.Italo Francesco - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

ELLIOTT, MrEverett Edward - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

FYNNEY, MrJoseph J. - body taken to Montreal for burial

GATTI, Sig.Gaspare Antonio Pietro - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

HAYS, MrCharles Melville - body taken to Montreal for burial in

HOWELL, MrArthur Albert - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

KING, MrErnest Waldron - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

MOEN, MrSigurd Hansen - body taken to Norway for burial in Mount Royal Cemetery

MULLIN, MrThomas - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

STANBROOK, MrAugustus George - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

WIKLUND, MrJakob Alfred - Fairview Lawn Cemetery

WITTMAN, MrHenry - Fairview Lawn Cemetery


On May 6, the CGS Montmagny departed Halifax and recovered 4 bodies (numbers 326 -329), one of which was buried at sea (body number 326). The three remaining victims, Harold Reynolds, Charles Smith and an unidentified female, around 15 years, were brought to Halifax from Louisbourg via rail. The young female, possibly Helini Zabour, is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery (body 328). Reynolds and Smith are buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery.


On May 16, the final recovery vessel, the SS Algerine, sailed from St. John's, Newfoundland and found one victim who arrived in Halifax aboard the SS Florizel. Body number 330 was that of saloon steward James McGrady, who was buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery.


According to the Nova Scotia government website, "The majority of the bodies were unloaded at the Coal or Flagship Wharf on the Halifax waterfront and horse-drawn hearses brought the victims to the temporary morgue in the Mayflower Curling Rink."


Of the 209 bodies brought to Halifax, 59 were able to be claimed by their families. Claiming a loved one's body for burial to be shipped outside of Canada took considerable expense and Titanic victims whose loved ones were unable to afford this luxury, were buried in Halifax graveyards. Granite block headstones were paid for by the White Star Liner in the fall of 1912. 150 Titanic victims are buried in Halifax graveyards (Fairview Lawn Cemetery, 121 victims buried, Mount Olivet Cemetery, 19 victims buried, and Baron de Hirsch Cemetery, 10 victims buried), the largest number anywhere in the world. They are buried in order by their name with the unidentified in order by number at the end. 42 of the 150 victims buried in Halifax remain unidentified today.

Sidney Leslie Goodwin

THE UNKNOWN CHILD - In 2008, the Unknown Child buried in Halifax's Fairview Lawn Cemetery was positively identified as 19-month-old English boy, Sidney Leslie Goodwin, born September 9, 1910. The unknown child was originally thought to be either Irish boy, Eugene Francis Rice or Swedish boy, Gosta Leonard Palsson, whose mother, Alma, is buried behind the grave of the Unknown Child. In 2002 he was again erroneously identified as Finnish boy, Eino Viljami Panula. 13-month-old Eino Panula was the youngest victim of the Titanic. Sidney Goodwin was the youngest victim recovered. He was body number 4 recovered by the Mackay-Bennett. Both his parents and his five siblings also perished in the sinking. None of their bodies, if recovered, were identified.

Goodwin family (without Sidney) - the entire family perished

RESOURCES:

George Henry Wright

Encyclopedia Titanica, George Wright

The George Wright Mansion

Halifax Had Grim Role in Titanic Tragedy - CBC

Titanic Nova Scotia

The Unknown Child Identified via DNA

Titanic Fandom Victims Recovered

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic List of Titanic Victims Buried in Halifax

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Frequently Asked Questions About the Titanic

National Post article

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