June 6, 1912
On June 6, 1912, the last body of those that had died on the Titanic was delivered to Halifax, Nova Scotia for burial. The body had been recovered by the steamer Algerine, out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, the last of four ships chartered by the White Star Line to search for bodies in the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic.
The Algerine was a cargo and passenger ship (and part-time sealer) owned by Bowring Brothers Limited ofSt. John’s. She sailed under the command of Captain John Jackman. Also aboard were chief officer Richard B. Giles and undertakers Andrew Carnell from Carnell’s Funeral Home and a Mr. Lawrence the undertaker with Lawrence Brothers.
The White Star Line owners were receiving constant criticism from families wanting to bury and mourn their loved one’s. To show that they were attempting to recover the bodies and that these bodies were being treated with respect and dignity the chartered ships each had an undertaker.
The Algerine left St. John’s on Thursday, 16 May 1912 loaded with ice and salt for the preservation of the bodies and coffins. While her search persisted for three weeks, she recovered only one body, that of Saloon Steward James McGrady (Body number 330). His remains were brought back to Halifax on 6 June and trans-shipped to Halifax aboard the steamer Florizel. He was buried in Halifax on June 12, 1912, the last victim of the Titanic disaster to be buried.
Recommended Archival Collection: At the Rooms Provincial Archives Division or the virtual exhibit: One Hundred Year Later: Titanic in the Archives: http://www.exhibits.therooms.ca/titanic/default.asp
Recommended Museum Exhibit: Here, We Made A Home
Where: Level 4, The Elinor Gill Ratcliffe Gallery is home to a number of artifacts linked to the Titanic including the Titanic Life jacket.