Tuesday, April 14, 2009

97 years ago....


Lavender Cottage

On the night of April 14, 1912, the Titanic hit the iceberg that sealed her fate and went down in the early morning hours of the 15th. Many of the victims are buried here in Halifax throughout several cemeteries. The Nova Scotia Archives has an interesting collection of related documents and pictures. One of the more poignant documents is a list of the bodies. Some had names and could be identified (next of kin contacted) and others were just described by their clothing, jewellery and tattoos. The "original" documents which can be found by clicking on the numbers below the electronic list, describes the people physically too.....weight, height, hair colour, marks etc. Sad reading, but makes the people real. Here are a few examples from the electronic list.

Unidentified Female
: Probably an Italian; wore two green cotton blouses, green cotton skirt, striped petticoat; nothing else to identify.
Unidentified Male: Ship's uniform. Carried open-face watch, made by Thomas Howard, 157 Kirkdale Road and 200 Rice Lane, Liverpool; stamped "German make." Had post card with picture of 4 little girls on reverse side. Also 1x2 instantaneous snapshot of boy or young man.
Unidentified Male:Wore light rain coat; uniform jacket with green facing and vest; purple muffler; carried cigarette case; silver watch; knife with carved pearl handle, and brass button marked "African Royal Mail"; also English lever watch.
Unidentified Female:Shoes marked "Parsons Sons, Athlone"; medallion round neck marked "B.V.M." ; wore wedding ring, keeper and another gold ring; locket and photo; one jet and one bead necklace.
Unidentified Male:Blue tattoo mark, and wore copper wire ring on thumb of right hand. Nothing else to identify.

Reading the list makes the tragedy very real. Burial for each body is listed, some just had burial at sea written beside their info.........and others are marked with a number and the cemetery. One of graveyards is about a ten minute walk from my house.
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has a permanent exhibit on display that is really interesting and sad.
Read story behind these wee shoes.

12 comments:

Flor Larios Art said...

I like this post! Sad...
Your painting is fantastic as always!
I am going to reaad the story now...
Thanks,
Flor

Poetikat said...

I haven't been in Halifax in years and wish I'd been to this museum when I was (back in '84).

Kat

Thanks for visiting me! "Margaret's Museum" is one of my all-time favourite films - my grand-uncle is one of the old-timers speaking Gaelic in it. My second cousin is the mother in "Marion Bridge" and also has a walk-on role in "New Waterford Girl" (all three are dear to my heart).

OliveStreetStudio said...

I had no idea. We were in Halifax last September and sad I missed it while in town.

Mickey Johnson said...

...the titanic. nothing evokes the emotions like thinking about that fateful voyage. we have been to the artifact museum and you are so correct...as you read about the people and see artifacts from them, they become so very real and the sense of loss resonates to your very core. i am not sure why it does this i only know that i often walk historic cemetaries and often feel a similar reverance to know that i stand where others stood before me in their grief and sadness. alas, it is good to know that this is not the end...that we have the hope to carry on in another place. mickey

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was so interesting Shelagh. There is a small Titanic memorial in NYC, and the White Star Line's dock is all but disappeared now. One of my friends is the great great grand daughter of a survivor!

Tess said...

That frightful day may well have looked just like that of your painting when they boarded. Those little shoes tear at heartstrings!!

From This Moment to That said...

Thank you for posting all this information about the Titanic, it is so moving. It's comforting to know that these sad victims were treated with such respect and reverence. Poor people...off to begin a new life on such a magnificent ship! Poor poor little baby boy, his shoes are so emotive.

Your lovely painting as always is so beautiful and wondrously coloured!!

Loth said...

I remember being enthralled by this exhibit when we first saw it in Halifax - that and the exhibit on the Halifax explosion which I knew nothing about before I went to NS. It's a fascinating town you live in.

Kathy said...

Tragedies like the Titanic are so moving. You can see a movie about it, but it isn't real until you read something like this. Thanks for sharing that.

susanna said...

So sad but very interesting nonetheless. You have such a way with colour in your paintings, btw. :)

Graciel @ Evenstar Art said...

Even with a sad story, your blog is a portal of pure joy. As always, your color-filled cats are fantastic!
xo, Graciel

Candace said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have always been a Titanic buff and have always wanted to visit to see the exhibits and cemeteries. Dunno why. And the painting was so lovely, calm and peaceful seas...
"There is nothing more passive than water, yet nothing can withstand its force."
Take care.
Candace