Hampshire & Isle of Wight

BBC hosts gathering of Titanic descendants in Southampton

Titanic relatives at BBC Southampton event
The Akerman family lost two members when the Titanic sank

More than 120 descendants of passengers and crew from the Titanic have been brought together by the BBC.

The gathering in Southampton, which was held ahead of the 100th anniversary of the liner sinking, is believed to be the largest of its kind.

Relatives shared memories at the event and many stories were recorded for broadcast for the first time.

The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people.

Among those attending was Simon Collier whose great uncle, Harvey Collier, had been emigrating to New York with his wife and eight-year-old daughter when the Belfast-built liner sank.

Mr Collier said: "It's fascinating, the more we've read the letters it's become very emotional and you relive the horror they went through on the night."

Alan Akerman, from Southampton, who is researching his grandfather and great uncle who were both crewmen killed on the Titanic, said: "We're on a quest, it's so interesting we just want to find out more."

The event came about following an on-air appeal on BBC television over Christmas.

Many of the interviews will be broadcast during special programmes marking the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

Producer Pete Doherty said: "We just had to get everyone together. We've got stories we never knew about and new angles on a story 100 years old, it's been fantastic."

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