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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 May 2006, 21:51 GMT 22:51 UK
Last US Titanic survivor is dead
Lillian Gertrud Asplund
Ms Asplund rarely spoke about the events of the fateful night
The last American survivor of the Titanic wreck has died in the state of Massachusetts aged 99.

Lillian Gertrud Asplund was five when the ship went down in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg.

She was the last survivor of the tragedy with actual memories of the sinking on 15 April, 1912.

The two final Titanic survivors live in England but both women were infants when they were rescued and are said to have no memories of the terrible night.

Barbara Joyce West Dainton of Truro was 10 months old and Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean of Southampton was two months old.

'Go ahead'

Ms Asplund was returning home to the US from Sweden with her parents and four brothers when the ship went down in the early morning.

The luxury liner was on its way from Southampton to New York when it sank with the loss of 1,503 passengers and crew.

Ms Asplund lost her father and three brothers, including a twin, but her mother, Selma, and a brother then three, also survived.

Ms Asplund died at home on Saturday, a spokesman for the Nordgren Memorial Chapel in Worcester said.

She had shunned publicity surrounding the disaster and rarely spoke about the events of that night.

Her mother described the sinking in an interview with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspaper shortly after she and her two children arrived in the city.

"We went to the upper deck," she said.

"I could see the icebergs for a great distance around... It was cold and the little ones were cuddling close to one another and trying to keep from under the feet of the many excited people.

"My little girl, Lillie, accompanied me, and my husband said 'Go ahead, we will get into one of the other boats.' He smiled as he said it."

Lillian Asplund never married and worked at secretarial jobs in the Worcester area most of her life.

She retired early to look after her mother, who was said to have never got over the tragedy.

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