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 family had been travelling to America, where they hoped to start a new life and open a tobacconist’s shop in Kansas. They travelled third class.
Miss Dean’s mother, Georgetta, and two-year-old brother, Bert, also survived, but her father, Bertram, was among those who perished when the vessel sank.
The family returned to Southampton, where Miss Dean went on to spend most of her life.
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.
She was fond of saying: “If it hadn’t been for the ship going down, I’d be an American.”
In 1985 the site of the wreck was discovered and, in her 70s, she found herself unexpectedly in demand on both sides of the Atlantic.
“I think sometimes they look on me as if I am the Titanic!” she said after a visit to a Titanic convention in America. “Honestly, some of them are quite weird about it.”
But she never tired of telling her story.
“Oh not at all. I like it, because everyone makes such a fuss of me! And I have travelled to so many places because of it, meeting all the people. Oh I wouldn’t get tired of it. I’m not the type.”
She was unimpressed when divers started to explore the wreck, located 3,000m below the surface of the Atlantic, saying: “I don’t believe in people going to see it. I think it’s morbid. I think it’s horrible.”
In the last years of her life, she began 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.
It was bought by a man from London who immediately returned it to her.