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Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 19:09 GMT 20:09 UK
City remembers the Titanic's dead
Laying a wreath from The Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology
In memorium - Southampton town Sergeant Roger Prior lays a wreath
A moving open air service has been held in the home port of the Titanic on the eve of the 90th anniversary of her sinking.

About 400 people attended the commemoration at the Titanic engineers' memorial in Southampton.

During a brief ceremony the Mayor of Southampton, Christine Kelly, led the wreath laying at the memorial.

Maritime organisations and members of the public also laid wreaths, including one in the shape and colours of the White Star Line - the Titanic's owners.

As the wreaths were laid, singer Emma Scott-Copeland sang the hymn Nearer My God to Thee - the tune the ship's band continued to play after it hit an iceberg on 15 April 1912.

The Titanic setting off
The UK's sole Titanic survivor was only nine weeks old when it sank

More than 1,500 people died in the tragedy and 549 of those - mainly crew - came from Southampton.

Mayor Kelly said: "Ninety years ago an event took place that meant that in some streets in Southampton every household lost a family member."

She said that although the story of the Titanic had become a blockbuster film "we want to remember the sinking, not the spectacle, not the entertainment".

The ceremony took place fittingly at the memorial to the engineers who stayed at their posts to maintain the ship's power as it sank and all perished.


All the musicians in the orchestra that played to the last also died.

The UK's sole Titanic survivor Millvina Dean, 90, who was only nine weeks old when the ship sank, was not present at the commemorative event.

She was rescued along with her mother, Georgetta, and older brother Bertram Junior. Her father Bertram, 27, who was taking his family to a new life in America, drowned.

Miss Dean, who lives in the nearby New Forest will unveil a heritage plaque at the former headquarters of the White Star Line in Canute Road, Southampton on Monday.

The plaque will mark the building as a site of historic significance.

See also:

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16 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Titanic deckchair fetches 30,000
28 Jul 01 | Americas
Titanic couple take the plunge
20 May 01 | Americas
Titanic dead remain unidentified
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