“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Halifax in Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia — The Canadian Atlantic

Fairview Lawn Cemetery


Fairview Lawn Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
1. Fairview Lawn Cemetery Marker
Inscription. Established in 1893, this non-denominational burial ground was originally known as the Green Lawn Cemetery. In 1894, the Fairview Lawn Cemetery Ltd. took over management of the cemetery which it operated for 50 years. Unable to fulfill its commitments with regard to the care and upkeep, the company handed over the cemetery responsibilities to the City of Halifax. On January 13, 1944, it was incorporated into the City of Halifax as the Fairview Lawn Cemetery. A number of famous Canadians are buried in this cemetery along with many victims of the 1917 Explosion in Halifax Harbour. The White Star Line commissioned the well-known land surveyor F.W, Christie to design the Titanic plot to fit into the slope of the hill at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery.

Voyages Remembered

A Significant Part of Nova Scotia’s Unique Marine Heritage

On April 10, 1912, the Titanic left on her maiden voyage with over 2,000 passengers and crew members aboard. Four days later, she struck an iceberg south of Newfoundland. She sank in two hours 40 minutes. Just over 700 survivors in lifeboats were rescued by the Carpathia and taken to New York. The White Star Line, which had offices located on Hollis Street in Halifax, commissioned four Canadian vessels to look for bodies in the area
Fairview Lawn Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
2. Fairview Lawn Cemetery Marker
of the disaster. Two of these vessels, the Mackay-Bennett and the Minia, were cable ships based in Halifax. The four ships were able to recover 328 Titanic victims. Many were buried at sea but 209 bodies were brought to Halifax, the closest major port to the area of the sinking. All of the Titanic victims thought to be Protestant were buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery.
Over the years, many relatives, friends and visitors have come to honour the memory of the Titanic victims buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery.

Why do the gravestones have the inscription: Died April 15, 1912? The Titanic sank at 2:20 am on April 15, 1912. Given the freezing temperatures, it was believed that most victims died of exposure soon after the sinking.

What does the number on the gravestones represent? The bodies of all the Titanic victims buried in Halifax were recovered at sea near the area of the sinking. The number on the gravestone is the number assigned when the bodies were found. James McGrady, victim 330, was the last victim to be found. His body was recovered by the Algerine in mid-May, 1912.

Why do some of the grave not have a name? In many cases there were no distinguishing marks or personal belongings that enabled a positive identification of the body. However, thanks to careful research
Graves of the victims of the <i>Titanic</i> disaster. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
3. Graves of the victims of the Titanic disaster.
based on details provided in the Coroner’s files, a number of Titanic victims have been identified in recent years. Research has also shown that some of the names on the headstones are misspelled.

Why are some gravestones larger? The company that owned the Titanic, the White Star Line, purchased a section of land in Fairview Lawn Cemetery and paid for small ‘black granite’ headstones engraved with the name and the number of the victim and the date of the tragedy. The cost of any additional engraving or more elaborate stones was assumed by families, friends or other groups.

Why were so few of the Titanic victims women? There were over three times as many men (including the crew) on board the Titanic as there were women. However, the percentage of women who survived was much greater. In fact, because Titanic’s crew tried to give preference to women and children, over half of the 705 survivors were women and children. Four of the nineteen female victims recovered are buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery.

In the outer curved line of graves, you will notice that one of the large gravestones is dedicated to the memory of Ernest Edward Samuel Freeman. The gravestone was erected by J. Bruce Ismay “to commemorate a long and faithful service.”

Although Ernest Freeman
Graves of the victims of the <i>Titanic</i> disaster. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
4. Graves of the victims of the Titanic disaster.
was chief deck steward, he was also a favorite employee of Ismay, the Managing Director of the White Star Line. Ismay’s father founded the White Star Line in 1869. Ismay survived the disaster. Perhaps motivated by both guilt and admiration, Ismay had the following inscribed on Freeman’s gravestone.
He remained at his post of duty, seeking to save others, regardless of his own life and went down with his ship.

At the top of the first row of graves, you will see the small vertical monument ”Erected to the memory of an Unknown Child whose remains were recovered after the disaster to the Titanic, April 15th, 1912.”

The body of this very young child was one of the first bodies recovered by seamen of the Mackay-Bennett at the location of the sinking of the Titanic. Profoundly moved by this sad event, the crew of the Mackay-Bennett asked to sponsor a memorial service for the Unknown Child. The funeral was held on May 4, 1912 at St. George’s Round Church on Brunswick Street. The headstone for the Unknown Child was purchased by the crew of the Mackay-Bennett.

For years the combination of the Coroner’s records and passengers lists suggested that the Unknown Child might be Götsa Leonard Pålsson, aged two. He was the youngest of four Swedish children who embarked at
Tombstone for an 'Unknown Child' image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
5. Tombstone for an 'Unknown Child'
Southampto with their mother, Alma Pålsson.

On July 30, 2009, researchers at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay presented their findings based on DNA testing and announced that the Unknown Child was Sidney Leslie Goodwin, the youngest of the six children of Frederick and Augusta Goodwin. The family had booked passage on a smaller steamer but it was delayed so they transferred to Titanic. All eight members of the family perished in the disaster.

Of the 150 Titanic victims buried in Halifax, about 40 remain unidentified. Careful notes were made regarding clothing, jewelry, papers and other personal effects found on the bodies. Thanks to these meticulous records, dedicated researchers have been able to establish the identity of a number of Titanic victims in recent years.

It was often a tiny clue that enabled researchers to trace the identity of a victim. The letters J H sewn on an undergarment proved invaluable in identifying Titanic victim No. 3 who was a woman. Based on the passenger list, only one woman lost in the disaster had the initials J.H. Her name was Jenny Henriksson. She was from Stockholm, Sweden and was immigrating to Michigan with relatives. Jenny Henriksson’s name was engraved on her headstone in Fairview Lawn Cemetery and dedicated in a special ceremony September 1991.

Tombstone of Everett Edward Elliott image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
6. Tombstone of Everett Edward Elliott
Each man stood at his post
While all the weaker ones
Went by, and showed once
More to all the world
How Englishmen should die.
other victims buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery were identified and honoured at the same ceremony. They were Frank Couch, William Denton Cox, Alan Vincent Franklin, F. Woodford, and a Finnish woman Wendla Maria Heininen. Her body, No. 8, had V.H. embroidered on her chamise and she had 150 Finnish marks sewn into her clothes.

Erected by Fairview Lawn Cemetery.
Location. 44° 39.56′ N, 63° 37.401′ W. Marker is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Halifax Regional Municipality. Marker is on Windsor Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3720 Windsor Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K, Canada.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Halifax and RMS Titanic (here, next to this marker); Fort Needham Memorial Park (approx. 1.9 kilometers away); Captain / Capitaine James Cook (approx. 1.9 kilometers away); Deadman's Island (approx. 2.9 kilometers away); The View from the Citadel / Le panorama vu de la citadelle (approx. 3.7 kilometers away); Halifax Citadel (approx. 3.8 kilometers away); Halifax Waterfront Buildings (approx. 4.1 kilometers away); South African War Monument (approx. 4.1 kilometers away). Click for a list of all markers in Halifax.
More about this marker.
RMS <i>Titanic</i> image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
7. RMS Titanic
This marker is located inside Fairview Lawn Cemetery near the graves of the Titanic victims.
Also see . . .  Recovering Titanic's Dead. The Nova Scotia city of Halifax would be the centre of the operation to recover the dead from the Atlantic, and to meet the enormous task that lay ahead, John Snow and Company Ltd., the area’s largest funeral directors, were brought in to oversee the funeral arrangements, who in turn enrolled the help of forty members of the Funeral Director’s Association of Maritime Provinces to assit with the recovery of the dead. (Submitted on October 10, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesDisastersWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 274 times since then and 87 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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