Titanic survivor Barbara West Dainton dies at 96

Nov. 8, 2007
LONDON - Barbara West Dainton, believed to be one of the last two survivors from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, has died in England at age 96. Dainton died Oct. 16 at a nursing home in Camborne, England , according to Peter Visick, a distant relative. Her funeral was held Monday at Truro Cathedral, Visick said Thursday. Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean of Southampton, England , who was 2 months old at the time of the Titanic sinking, is now the disaster's only remaining survivor, according to the Titanic Historical Society.

The last American survivor, Lillian Gertrud Asplund, died in Massachusetts last year at age 99. Dainton, born in Bournemouth in southern England in 1911, was too young to remember the night when the huge liner hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic in April 1912, killing 1,500 people, including her father, Edwy Arthur West.

He waved farewell as the lifeboat carrying Barbara; her mother, Ada; and her sister, Constance, was lowered into the ocean, according to Karen Kamuda of the Titanic Historical Society in Indian Orchard, Mass. His body was never identified. The Titanic did not have enough lifeboats for all of 2,200 passengers and crew. Only a small number of those unable to find a place on the boats survived the freezing waters. Dainton returned to England after the accident. She married in 1952.

She avoided publicity associated with the Titanic and even insisted that her funeral take place before any public announcement of her death, Kamuda said. "We respected her privacy," Kamuda said. "We're so open with everything and our emotions nowadays, but people at that time, they just didn't talk about it."