Last survivor of Titanic dies

 

The last survivor of the Titanic, Millvina Dean, died today at the age of 97, according to sources.

Miss Dean was just nine weeks old when the historic liner sank in 1912.

She died in the early hours of this morning after being cared for at a Southampton nursing home.

Elizabeth Gladys Dean, known to friends as Millvina, was born on February 2nd, 1912 and boarded the doomed ship with her parents Bertram Frank and Georgette Eva and her elder brother Bertram.

The family, who were third class passengers, were emigrating to Wichita, Kansas, where her father had hoped to open a tobacconist shop.

When the accident happened, her father felt the ship shudder and quickly told his family to get on deck.

Miss Dean, her mother and brother were among the first steerage passengers to escape the sinking liner, but Mr Dean was unable to get onto a lifeboat and died in the disaster.

They returned to England aboard the Adriatic where “Millvina became quite a spectacle: that such a tiny baby could have came through the ordeal alive,” according to Encyclopedia-Titanica.

Miss Dean’s family returned to Southampton and she did not find out that she had been on board the vessel until she was eight and her mother was planning to remarry.

Earlier this month Hollywood actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in the film Titanic, donated cash to help pay Miss Dean’s nursing home fees.

She was forced to auction off personal belongings and memorabilia associated with the sinking of the liner to help cover £3,000 per month for care.

Irish author Don Mullan, a friend of Miss Dean, launched the Millvina Fund to secure her future, and sold photographs of the pensioner to raise profits for the fund.

It is believed that Winslet, DiCaprio and director James Cameron donated £22,000.

PA