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On April 14, 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sunk. Over 1500 died, and most of the remains of those that perished were never recovered
The recovery efforts found the remains of 330 victims, of all ages. Of those they found, 80 were in such an advanced state of decay that they were simply buried at sea. This left 250 passengers in need of a final resting place.
Most of these victims were interred in Halifax, in on of three cemeteries, with the largest share of the passengers finding rest at Fairview Lawn Cemetery. those who had found the bodies did their best to identify the bodies, and give them a name for the simple granite markers provided by the White Star Line, but, despite their best efforts, many remained unidentified.
One of these victims, a small child, who had been recovered by a Norwegian ship, was given a special marker by the sailors who had been especially affected with the tragedy of a life ended at such a young age. Many years later, the boy was identified as Eino Panula. His mother and four brothers also perished on that fateful night.
In recent years, one of the graves has earned a bit of notoriety. The marker, with the name "J. Dawson," has become an especially popular stop for fans of the 1997 movie by James Cameron. In Cameron's tale, the fictional character of Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, wins a ticket on the luxury liner, and (spoiler alert) dies on the ship.
In real life, "J. Dawson" was Joseph Dawson, who was a coal trimmer on the ship. Dawson was 20, and his home was in Ireland. Coal trimmers kept the coal stores by each boiler supplied with coal, so that the ship's engines kept going.
Victims that were identified as belonging to the the Catholic Church were buried in Halifax's Catholic cemetery. Only 19 victims were interred in this burial ground. Ten of the bodies, identified as being Jewish victims, were buried in the Baron de Hirsch Cemetery. Two of the persons did not have names. Later, one of unnamed was found to have been Titanic's saloon steward Frederick William Wormald, who was Catholic.
One other notable cemetery with a concentration of Titanic graves is in New York. Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx is the final resting place for some of the most prominent victims and survivors of the Titanic catastrophe.
Most famously, it is the site of the Strauss family mausoleum. Both Isador and Ida Strauss died on the ship. Survivors reported that Ida refused to leave without her husband, saying, “We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go.”
The body of Isidor Straus was found floating in the water. His wife was lost at sea.
Another of the Titanic survivors buried at Woodlawn is Col. Archibald Gracie IV, hailed for his heroics in saving dozens of women and children. He wrote about the tragedy in his book, “The Truth About The Titanic,” but died eight months after the disaster, of diabetes.
And what of Denver Heroine Margaret "Molly" or "Maggie" Brown? She famously survived the tragedy, and lived until 1932. She's buried in the Cemetery of the Holy Rood, a Roman Catholic cemetery located in Westbury, New York.
For further information on Titanic Cemeteries, check out the following:
Halifax's Titanic Cemeteries
Halifax's Catholic Cemetery, Mt. Olivet
New York's Titanic Cemetery
Around the Web
Memorial Day is a busy time at cemeteries. This year, Students decorated the graves of soldiers at Riverside cemetery in Denver.
Roselawn Cemetery in Pueblo, got a sprucing by volunteers.
Golden's Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in a Memorial Day Ceremony.
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