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Reluctant parting for Titanic survivor

Millvina Dean, who was only two months old when the RMS Titanic sank in 1912, says she is being forced to sell treasured items from the doomed voyage in order to pay rising nursing-home expenses, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

One item that will go up for auction will be a 100-year-old suitcase filled with clothes given to her family by generous New Yorkers after they arrived back ashore following the disaster. Dean, 96, has lived in a nursing home in London for two years and hopes to make about $5,000 (U.S.) from the auction.

“I was hoping to be here for two months after breaking my hip, but I developed an infection and I have been here for two years,” Dean said to 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 can think might fetch some money.”

Dean’s family was emigrating to Kansas on the Titanic, according to the AFP report. Her father died that night, but her mother and baby brother were rescued. After fellow Briton Barbara Joyce Dainton died last year, Dean is now the last living survivor of the Titanic.

The auction of her belongings will take place Saturday at Henry Aldridge and Son auctioneers in the town of Devizes, southwest England. For information, visit

— Elizabeth Ellis