Monday, April 7, 2008
The Real Dawson
If you ever go to Halifax, there is a TITANIC graveyard where most of the bodies recovered from the surface were laid to rest. On one of those tombstones is the name J. Dawson. Many visitors whom have gone there have mistakenly thought that it is the grave of the Jack in the movie. In truth, it is the grave of Joseph Dawson whom was a stoker and looked nothing like Leonardo Di Caprio. James Cameron, the director of the TITANIC movie claimed he didn't know that there was a real Dawson on board which is unlikely.
Joseph Dawson was born in September of 1888 to a priest. His father soon became a widower. Unable to pay taxes, he and his father lived in a church home. There, he learned all there was to know in scriptures in the hope to become a priest like his father. He soon decided not to become a priest so he went into the world penniless. He soon found a job as a stoker on the Majestic where he met John Priest and his sister. Through much courtship, Joseph was engaged to John's sister. Meanwhile, John got Joseph to become a member of the Black Gang which was a gang of trimmers and stokers which went to the bars and would hang out.
Joseph was soon transferred to the TITANIC. The whole voyage, he mostly worked stoking coal into those hot and burning boilers and not getting very much fresh air. Joseph was off-duty on the night of the sinking and it is probable that he remained asleep until he heard the alarms going off. He then waited for the officer to give them leave before going up to the top deck. He then made it to the stern and took off his boots so that he wouldn't be weighed down by them. When his body was recovered, it had no shoes and the only means of identification was his Black Gang card which had all his information on it like name, address, stuff like that. John Priest, whom was on the TITANIC also, he survived the disaster and was later brought back to England. John's mother said "one son restored to her, but her daughters Nellie and Emmie both lost sweethearts." I hope that some day, the people realize that Joseph was a real person and that grave is disrespectfully mistaken. One day, I hope the real Dawson is restored to his true life and glory.