RMS Titanic stamp and coin cover signed by survivor Millvina Dean and dated April, 14th, 1998
Eliza Gladys "Millvina" Dean (2 February 1912 – 31 May 2009) was a British civil servant, cartographer, and the last survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912. At two months old, she was also the youngest passenger aboard.
Dean was born in Branscombe, England, on 2 February 1912 to Bertram Frank Dean (1886–1912) and Georgette Eva Light (1879–1975). She had an older brother, Bertram Vere Dean, born 21 May 1910. She never married and had no children. Her father died on the Titanic; her mother died on 16 September 1975, aged 96; and her brother died on 14 April 1992, age 81, the 80th anniversary of the iceberg collision.
Dean's parents decided to leave the United Kingdom and emigrate to the United States; they were planning to move to Wichita, Kansas, where her father had relatives, and his cousin owned a tobacco shop that he was going to co-own. They were not supposed to be aboard the Titanic, but due to a coal strike, they were transferred onto it and boarded it as third-class passengers at Southampton, England. Dean was barely two months old when she boarded the ship. Her father felt its collision with the iceberg on the night of 14 April 1912, and after investigating, returned to his cabin, telling his wife to dress the children and go up on deck. Dean, her mother, and her brother were placed in Lifeboat 10 and were among the first third-class passengers to escape. Her father, however, did not survive, and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
At first, Dean's mother wanted to continue on to Kansas to fulfil her husband's wish of a new life in the United States. However, after losing him and being left with two small children for whom to care, they returned to Britain aboard the RMS Adriatic. While aboard the ship, Dean attracted considerable attention. An article in the Daily Mirror dated 12 May 1912 described the ordeal:
|“||[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.|
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