Letter of endorsement from Peter Baillie, Mayor of Southampton
Dear Mr. Willard,
Thank you very much for your e-mail and note regarding the project ‘Name them all’.
I think it is an excellent idea and can only say that I am a little surprised it has not happened already. It would be excellent if some descendants are able to obtain closure.
As Mayor of Southampton, and on behalf of the citizens of Southampton, I would have great pleasure in supporting this project.
With every best wish for a successful project.
797th Mayor of Southampton.
Letter of endorsement from Günter Bäbler, President of the Swiss Titanic Society
To whom it may concern,
As the president of the Swiss Titanic Society I represent more than 450 members in 21 countries, all with an interest in the Titanic. Since its early days in 1992 our society has dedicated a lot of effort into the memory of the Titanic and the people who were on board. We have erected several memorials and graves and donated money for the restoration of historical places. Last year we launched a new project, a worldwide online map with all known Titanic sites. We have assembled more than 2600 places and as a service to the community this information is available for free on wwwtitanicmap.org – with exact GPS data, so that people interested in the Titanic can find relevant places without the trouble of searching and spending too much time when travelling to locate the places.
Obviously Halifax is a very special place for all of us due to the strong connection because of the recovery missions that started there and it became the final resting place of 150 victims. Many of our members visited Halifax; I was there three times myself and did research in the Halifax archives. At home I spent countless hours over the decades trying to give the unidentified victims a name, but in most cases the descriptions only limit the possible victims, but never rule out enough options.
The fact that 42 of 150 bodies buried in Halifax (or 28%) remain unidentified is very sad. Obviously the close relatives that were mourning in 1912 are long gone, however many descendants of the people on the Titanic have a strong interest in the history. I know of many such family members that would love to learn that their ancestor is in fact buried in Halifax. There is also the very good chance that newly identified victims in combination with the list of effects lead to new discoveries that might unlock secrets of Titanic’s history.
I firmly believe that most people if they would have to choose between a grave with their name or being buried anonymous they would pick a grave with their name, to give their family and friends the chance to mourn at their final resting place. Visiting the grave of their beloved ones is what most people do when they are alive – therefore hardly anyone would willingly try to prevent visits at their own grave.
At the time the bodies were recovered the options to identify them were limited but a lot of efforts were made. Nobody could have predicted back then that in the future it would be possible to fulfil the task. We are now living in this future and know that it is possible in our present time, but we also know that chances will become less in the future as more and more DNA is being dissolved. Our generation has therefore the responsibility to make the attempt to finish the work that 1912 began as good as possible.
Over the decades of researching I had to realize that generations of researchers failed to ask survivors the right questions that would be very valuable to understand what happened on board the Titanic. Many chances that never come back – we can only speculate about things that would have been easy to answer some years ago. Therefore we should not miss the unique chance to live in a time where the identification is possible and secure knowledge for future generations.
This is why I fully support any attempt to identify the victims with the help of DNA. We owe the victims and their families to give them names. As we have seen with the unknown child the identification did not take away anything from the fascination and the moving gesture of the crew that raised the money to erect its gravestone.
It would also be a wonderful sample of international cooperation to solve as many of the mysteries as possible.
President of the Swiss Titanic Society
Other Endorsements (Titanic family member in parentheses)
Simon Medhurst (Robert Hichens)
Cliff Ismay (J. Bruce Ismay)
Michael Lapham (John J. Ware)
Chris Pain (Alfred Pain)
Joan Morris Berry (Father Thomas Byles)
British Titanic Society - David Scott-Beddard, President.
Swiss Titanic Society - Günter Bäbler, President.
Great Lakes Titanic Connection - Margaret Micoff, President.
Canadian Titanic Historian
Tiller: “I fully support this very important and worthy project. These people deserve to be named and their stories finally told. A project of this scale and magnitude, has the potential to make a massive contribution to the Titanic community and should be endorsed by all.”
Craig Sopin - Board member of The Titanic International Society
Michael Poirier - Board member of The Titanic International Society
Brandon Whited - Board member for The Titanic International Society
Whited: “While I had no relative aboard the Titanic, I have been fascinated by the tragedy of the great ship, and have written about several of the first-class passengers aboard. As a researcher who focuses on the people side of the story, I
enthusiastically endorse this project.”
Michael Beatty - Board member of The Titanic International Society
George Behe - Past Vice President of The Titanic Historical Society
Quotes from Endorsement pages:
“Fantastic idea! The victims deserve to have their voices heard!”
(Michael Lapham – relative of victim John J. Ware)
“My grandfather may be buried in Halifax. I completely support this project and will offer my DNA. I am 87 years old, and want the chance to pay my respects at my grandfather’s grave, if it is there, and if he is identified. Every day of my life I have thought about my grandfather. Even if he is not identified after the testing, Bill and his team will give me closure. I will be at the Memorial Ceremony with the others, honoring them all, whether my grandfather is identified or not”.
(Frank Goldsmith Jr – descendant of victim Frank John Goldsmith)
We have hundreds of endorsements and praises which applaud our objective - to give closure to as many of the Titanic families that we can. We value EVERY endorsement we receive.