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

Fairview Lawn Cemetery


Fairview Lawn Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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
Fairview Lawn Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
2. Fairview Lawn Cemetery Marker
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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 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
Graves of the victims of the <i>Titanic</i> disaster. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
3. Graves of the victims of the Titanic disaster.
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 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
Graves of the victims of the <i>Titanic</i> disaster. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
4. Graves of the victims of the Titanic disaster.
memory of Ernest Edward Samuel Freeman. The gravestone was erected by J. Bruce Ismay “to commemorate a long and faithful service.”

Although Ernest Freeman 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
Tombstone for an 'Unknown Child' image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2014
5. Tombstone for an 'Unknown Child'
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 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
Tombstone of Everett Edward Elliott image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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.
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.

Five 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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesDisastersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1822.
Location. 44° 39.56′ N, 63° 37.401′ W. Marker is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Halifax Region. Marker is on Windsor Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3720 Windsor Street, Halifax NS B3K, Canada. Touch for directions.
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); Izaak Walton & Dorothy Johnston Killam (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); Halifax Explosion Unidentified Dead (about 150 meters away); Fort Needham Memorial Park
RMS <i>Titanic</i> image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer
7. RMS Titanic
(approx. 1.9 kilometers away); Captain / Capitaine James Cook (approx. 1.9 kilometers away); Deadman's Island (approx. 2.9 kilometers away); William Henry Chase (approx. 3.4 kilometers away); Halifax and Castine / Halifax et Castine (approx. 3.5 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Halifax.
More about this marker. This marker is located inside Fairview Lawn Cemetery near the graves of the Titanic victims.
Regarding Fairview Lawn Cemetery. 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 assist with the recovery of the dead.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 10, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 623 times since then and 179 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 10, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 5, 2022