On our trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia we visited the Fairview Lawn Cemetery where 121 victims of the Titanic disaster are buried. Rows of simple black granite headstones, each inscribed with the same date, April 15, 1912, are a stark reminder of the disaster. In some cases families, friends, or other groups chose to commission a larger and more elaborate gravestone. Over the years, many of the victims have been identified but 42 victims remain unidentified.
One of the better-known headstones is for an unidentified child victim, known for decades as The Unknown Child. The marker bears the inscription ‘Erected to the memory of an unknown child whose remains were recovered after the disaster of the “Titanic” April 15th 1912’. After exhaustive forensic research and testing, the unknown child was identified, in 2011, as 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin, an English child who perished with his entire family. Many visitors to the cemetery leave small mementos on the child’s headstone.
Three Halifax ships were involved in the grim task of recovering victims. In total 209 victims were recovered. Only 59 of the bodies were shipped out by train to their families. An additional 19 victims were buried in the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery and ten are in the Baron de Hirsch Jewish Cemetery. We only had the opportunity to visit Fairview.