Miss Eliza Gladys Millvina Dean, was born on 2 February 1912. She was the daughter of Bertram Frank Dean and Georgette Eva Light Dean. In April, 1912 she was only nine-weeks-old and was, with her parents and elder-brother Bertram, about to emigrate to Wichita, Kansas where her father hoped to open a tobacconist shop.
Millvina boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her parents and brother.
Millvina, her mother and brother were all rescued. They returned to England aboard the Adriatic. It was on the Adriatic that Millvina became quite a spectacle: that such a tiny baby could have came through the ordeal alive. First and Second Class passengers on the Adriatic queued to hold her, and many took photographs of her, her mother and brother, several of which were published in contemporary newspapers.
"[She] was the pet of the liner during the voyage, and so keen was the rivalry between women to nurse this lovable mite of humanity that one of the officers decreed that first and second class passengers might hold her in turn for no more than ten minutes"
(Daily Mirror, 12 May 1912)
Millvina and her brother were raised and educated on various pension funds. Millvina attended Greggs School, Southampton. In her younger years Millvina did not know that she was on the Titanic, and only found out when she was eight and her mother was planning to remarry.
Millvina never married, working for the government during World War II by drawing maps, and later serving in the purchasing department of a Southampton engineering firm. It wasn't until Millvina was in her seventies that she became a Titanic celebrity: she has since been in great demand to appear at conventions, exhibitions, in documentaries, radio and TV programs, etc. In 1997 she was invited to travel aboard the QE2 to America to complete her family's voyage to Wichita, Kansas.
In April, 1996 she visited Belfast for the first time, as guest of honour for a Titanic Historical Society convention. Millvina was the last living-survivor. She lived in retirement in Southampton, England and was kept very busy attending conventions; appearing in documentaries, TV series and radio shows; signing huge amounts of autographs; and relating her tales to school groups.
The last survivor of the Titanic disaster died on 31 May 2009 after a short illness.
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