Author Topic: Coffin transportation  (Read 371 times)

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Offline Hudson

Coffin transportation
« on: Nov 12, 2019, 07:09 PM »
Can anyone tell me if they remember caskets/coffins being transported on the QE2 in the 70's? I know there was a morgue that could accommodate up to 4 but if you wanted to send a loved one home to be buried and wanted their remains brought over by sea, could you have the casket transported and where would it be kept? Also who would have been in charge of that on the ship, Chaplin, Medical staff....? any ideas folks?

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Coffin transportation
« Reply #1 on: Nov 12, 2019, 07:30 PM »
I don't think it ever happened as you describe, but open to confirmation by someone from that era. It would probably have been far to complicated from a legal point of view, as taking a deceased across national
boundarys can be very, very bureaucratic at the best of times. 

But Ashes of a deceased are a totally different matter, and on QE2 we established a tried and tested routine/system for their committal that was taken to other Fleets when the ethnic cleansing took the Cunard Security Officers over to 'the other side'!


Online Chris Thompson

Re: Coffin transportation
« Reply #2 on: Nov 12, 2019, 08:34 PM »
In 1988 the remains of the Composer Bella Bartok were transported from the US to Europe. Basically a large box secured inside the shell doors on 5 deck next to the Casino cabins, I remember several of the staff not being too happy, especially those in the cabins adjoining the doors...... :)

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Coffin transportation
« Reply #3 on: Nov 12, 2019, 10:27 PM »
In 1988 the remains of the Composer Bella Bartok were transported from the US to Europe. Basically a large box secured inside the shell doors on 5 deck next to the Casino cabins, I remember several of the staff not being too happy, especially those in the cabins adjoining the doors...... :)

This is the sort of story I especially love hearing about!  Although his family may not agree .... Because the passengers will have had no idea
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Coffin transportation
« Reply #4 on: Nov 12, 2019, 11:25 PM »
This is the sort of story I especially love hearing about!  Although his family may not agree .... Because the passengers will have had no idea

Rob,

There are a lot of things about QE2 that 'paasengers had no idea about!'
« Last Edit: Nov 13, 2019, 12:16 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online cunardqueen

Re: Coffin transportation
« Reply #5 on: Nov 13, 2019, 08:22 PM »
Quote
  a party held where the coffins were stored!
 

Hopefully Empty ones at that ....Mindyou when you see a hearse on it travels , quite often there is one tucked away .
I once went for a job as an Undertakers assistant, then at the interview saw the cold light of day.

In a previous part time job as a domestic for the local health board, part of the "initiantion"  you were called one night to work at the hospital to cover staff sickness, and were taken down a long corridor to the morgue , with the instructions no harm will come just damp mop the floor and ignore all that you see.. Yes ignore the object on a table covered with a cloth ! so your mopping away , with your senses already at an all time high , and quickly at that and all of a sudden the object jumps up. If that doesnt kill you, the shock of seeing all the faces behind you laughing as you realise you have just been had and your collegues were in on it  . 
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Rod

Re: Coffin transportation
« Reply #6 on: Nov 20, 2019, 01:20 AM »
Until 1971 or 72 QE2 had her own coffins for those that died on board. There were 8 all told in 4 different sizes.
These were purely storage units and for taking the bodies ashore.
They were eventually repurposed, with the addition of 2 hinges , (there were no hinges before just clips) into lockers.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Coffin transportation
« Reply #7 on: Nov 20, 2019, 02:28 PM »
Until 1971 or 72 QE2 had her own coffins for those that died on board. There were 8 all told in 4 different sizes.
These were purely storage units and for taking the bodies ashore.
They were eventually repurposed, with the addition of 2 hinges , (there were no hinges before just clips) into lockers.

Thank you Rod. I'm assuming nobody thought to take photos!?  I wish I'd had you to show me around in 2011 in Dubai, I could have walked past without realising any significance.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Coffin transportation
« Reply #8 on: Nov 20, 2019, 05:31 PM »
Until 1971 or 72 QE2 had her own coffins for those that died on board. There were 8 all told in 4 different sizes.
These were purely storage units and for taking the bodies ashore.
They were eventually repurposed, with the addition of 2 hinges , (there were no hinges before just clips) into lockers.

On Vistafjord in 1996/98 there was a morque in the cross passage after of the main engine room, that had 2 lead lined coffins in. When we had a death onboard, they seemed to be far to regular as well, the Control Room would have to 'flash up' the morque, to get the temp down to an acceptable level before the body was transported to it for storage until we arrived in the next port. On one voyage from Los Angeles down to S/Pacific and back, a  lady passenger died a couple of days out,. Her NoK requested that the ship retain the body and for it to be  off loaded on our return to LA 7 weeks later! This in itself brought about problems as, the Ship's Agent in LA misunderstood the Ch Pursers's signal [email] requesting a funeral parlour attend on our return to off  load a body! This request - misunderstood - brought LAPD and the 'full monty' down to the  ship on our arrival. Eventually - after many hours of explanation - which meant i missed out on a brief trip to Queen Mary - everyone was satisfied no foul play had taken place and all left happy[ish!].

Another time, in Egypt, the Captain had to go to court to explain why he was bringing a dead body into port and explain the circumstance of this death, it took so long [strange as it  may seem for Egypt! ] that sailing was delayed by a couple of hours. At one stage it was even thought that The Captain might not return and  then what were were going to do?  Fortunately sufficient 'Marlboro' were 'exchanged' and we sailed, complete with our Captain!