The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Identity of Titanic's 'unknown child' a sad mystery for nearly a century

  • Print

HALIFAX - Little Sidney Leslie Goodwin was laid to rest in Halifax's Fairview Lawn Cemetery nearly a century before anyone knew who he was.

The toddler's body was plucked from the North Atlantic by crew members aboard the Mackay-Bennett, one of two cable ships tasked with recovering Titanic's dead after the ship sank on April 15, 1912.

"When they brought in this small child, tiny child, with no life-jacket, they were very much moved," says Alan Ruffman, a Halifax author and researcher who ultimately helped find the child's identity.

"They resolved among themselves that if no one claimed this body, they would see that it got a decent burial."

Days later, the boy's remains were buried at the end of a row of Titanic victims, beneath a grey tombstone dedicated to an "unknown child."

It would be 90 years before he was finally given a name.

In 2002, DNA technology and dental analysis concluded the exhumed remains were those of a 13-month-old Finnish boy named Eino Viljami Panula.

Two years later, a family from Ontario donated a pair of mottled brown shoes to a Halifax museum, claiming they belonged to the boy.

But the shoes were too large for such a young child.

Scientists went back to work using a more advanced form of DNA decoding. Last May, it was announced that the toddler was in fact 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin, a third-class English passenger whose family perished in the sinking.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Peguis Chief Hudson comments on toddler's death upgrade to homicide investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A squirrel enjoys the morning sunshine next to the duck pond in Assiniboine Park Wednesday– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google