Skydive to honour last Titanic survivor

Clockwise from top left - Christina Squire, Chris Davis, Becky Davis and Laura Squire Clockwise from top left - Christina Squire, Chris Davis, Becky Davis and Laura Squire

Thursday, May 29, 2014
11:53 AM

Seaton team’s parachute jump will be in memory of the stricken liner’s youngest passenger

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Millvina Dean signing autographs at the Titanic Convention in Southampton in April 1999Millvina Dean signing autographs at the Titanic Convention in Southampton in April 1999

Four brave fundraisers are taking to the skies as they remember an East Devon-born survivor of the Titanic.

Christina Squire, of Littlefields, Seaton, wanted to make her 21st birthday unforgettable so signed up for a skydive, but then realised it coincided with the anniversary of her ‘auntie’s’ death.

Together with sister Laura and friends Becky and Chris Davis, she will be taking the plunge from 15,000 feet – and they hope to raise £2,100 for Cancer Research in the process.

“All the others seem fine about the skydive – I’ll have to be pushed out of that plane,” said Christina, who is training to be a primary school teacher at Bedford University.

“It seemed like a good idea in January!”

She added: “We’ve all had family and friends affected by cancer. It’s not just the cancer – it’s the pain it leaves behind.”

They are jumping on Saturday, May 31, to mark five years since the death of Branscombe-born Millvina Dean, who was actually the girls’ third cousin.

She was just nine weeks old when the Titanic sank.

Its youngest survivor was passed down to a lifeboat in a mail sack to her mother and brother, but her father Bertram lost his life saving others.

The 97-year-old, who died in 2009, was the last surviving passenger of the 1912 tragedy.

Her parents had lived in one of the cottages that became the Mason’s Arms, where Christina now works, along with a summer job at Sidmouth International School.

Millvina enjoyed a public speaking role, mainly in America, but she returned to the UK and lived out her last days in a nursing home in Southampton.

When Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, stars in the award-winning film Titanic, heard she was struggling to pay her bills, donated towards to a specially set up ‘Millvina Fund’.

To sponsor the jump, visit www.justgiving.com/Christina-Squire.

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