Last Titanic survivor dies at 97

Posted on May 31, 2009

Last Titanic survivor dies at 97

Millvina Dean
Millvina Dean was nine weeks old when the Titanic sank

The last survivor of the sinking of the Titanic has died aged 97.

Millvina Dean was nine weeks old when the liner sank after hitting an iceberg in the early hours of 15 April 1912, on its maiden voyage from Southampton.

The disaster resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people in the north Atlantic, largely due to a lack of lifeboats.

Miss Dean, who remembered nothing of the fateful journey, died on Sunday at the care home in Hampshire where she lived, two of her friends told the BBC.

Her father, Bertram, perished when the vessel sank.

Her sister and mother also survived and they returned to Southampton, where Miss Dean spent most of her life.

She had recently been struggling with monthly bills of £3,000 at her care home and had been in danger of losing her room.

She began selling some of her Titanic-related mementoes to raise funds, and in April a canvas bag from her rescue was sold at auction raising £1,500.

Millvina Dean and her mother
Millvina Dean in her mother's arms a few weeks after the disaster

Actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, who appeared in the 1998 movie Titanic, contributed towards her care costs, along with the film's director James Cameron, by donating to the Millvina Fund which was set up by her friends.

Despite having no memories of the disaster, she always said it had shaped her life, because she should have grown up in the US instead of returning to the UK.

Built in Belfast, the White Star Line vessel became infamous for not having enough lifeboats onboard, leading to the deaths of many passengers.

Elizabeth Gladys Dean, better known as Millvina, was the Titanic's youngest passenger, born on 2 February 1912.

Another baby on board, Barbara Joyce West, was nearly 11 months old when the liner sank. She also survived.

Barbara Joyce Dainton, as she became when she married, died in October 2007, leaving Miss Dean as the last Titanic survivor.

 

BBC News Sunday, 31 May 2009




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