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Titanic relatives to mark 100th anniversary in Atlantic

image captionThe Titanic set sail from Southampton on 10 April 1912

Relatives of passengers and crew on Titanic are planning to mark the 100th anniversary of the disaster by sailing to the spot where the liner sank.

They will set off on 8 April next year from Southampton to retrace RMS Titanic's route across the Atlantic.

A special memorial ceremony will be held on board the cruise ship Balmoral at the time the ship went down.

Titanic hit an iceberg at 23:40 on 14 April and sank two hours and 40 minutes later, with the loss of 1,517 lives.

The wreck still rests on the seabed where it sank, 375 miles south east of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Jane Allen, from Devon, said: "We wish to commemorate our relative, Thomas Pears, who died on the Titanic.

"His story has been a big part of our lives. His widow Edith survived in Lifeboat 8."

Helped in evacuation

Philip Littlejohn, grandson of Titanic survivor Alexander James Littlejohn and the only Titanic relative to have made the dive to the wreck site, will also make the trip.

He said: "I'm sure my grandfather, a First Class steward on Titanic, would be proud to know his story will be shared.

"It will be an emotional moment when we are over the wreck site, where I dived in 2001, and where my grandfather left Titanic rowing Lifeboat 13."

Another relative taking part will be author Arthur Cropley, the great-nephew of Charles Lightoller, the second officer of the Titanic.

Mr Lightoller survived the sinking, helping with the evacuation of passengers.

He was portrayed by actor Kenneth More in the 1958 film A Night To Remember, with the character also featuring in the Oscar-winning 1997 film, Titanic.

Mr Lightoller helped in the evacuation of British troops at Dunkirk in 1940. He died, aged 78, in 1952.

The Balmoral will be joined by another cruise ship, Azamara Journey, which will sail from New York to take part in the ceremony.

Azamara Journey will call at Halifax, where guests will visit Fairview Lawn Cemetery where 121 of Titanic's unclaimed victims were buried.

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