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Last Titanic Survivor Sells Mementoes To Pay For Care

LONDON (AFP) - The last remaining survivor of the Titanic disaster is auctioning mementoes from the doomed liner to pay for her nursing home fees, a newspaper said Thursday.

Millvina Dean was only two months old when the Titanic struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank in 1912, but now at the age of 96 she is struggling to make ends meet and hopes to make 3,000 pounds from the sale.

Personal items going under the hammer include a 100-year-old suitcase filled with clothes given to her family by the people of New York after they arrived there following the catastrophe.

Dean has lived in a nursing home for the last two years.

"I was hoping to be here for two weeks after breaking my hip but I developed an infection and have been here for two years. I am not able to live in my home any more," she told the Southern Daily Echo newspaper.

"I am selling it all now because I have to pay these nursing home fees and am selling anything that I think might fetch some money," she added. "The fees are quite expensive. The more money I can get from the auction the better."

Some 1,500 passengers and crew aboard the Titanic died when the White Star Line luxury ship sank in the frigid northern Atlantic ocean on its way from Southampton to New York.

Dean's family were emigrating to Kansas aboard the doomed liner. She was the youngest survivor, rescued along with her baby brother and mother Eva, although her father died.

In all, some 700 people survived the sinking, one of the worst maritime disasters ever. Their numbers have dwindled over the decades, leaving only Dean left after fellow Briton Barbara Joyce Dainton died last year.

The auction of her belongings will be held on Saturday at Henry Aldridge and Son auctioneers in the town of Devizes.




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