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Titanic Burial At Sea Photo To Be Auctioned
A haunting photograph showing victims of the Titanic disaster being buried at sea has been uncovered.
It shows bodies stacked high in bags ready to be tipped overboard as the ship's priest Reverend Hind conducts a service.
The picture was taken days after more than 1,500 people died when the "unsinkable" liner hit an iceberg and went down in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912.
It has now been made public and is set to fetch up to £5,000 at auction.
In the photo, two men can be seen dropping a victim over the side of the recovery ship, the CS Mackay Bennett.
A canvas bag containing the possessions of body number 177 - William Peter Mayo - can be seen.
Records show 166 out of 306 bodies collected by the ship were buried at sea, but no images have been seen until now.
The photo was discovered when the family of RD "Westy" Legate, an officer on the Mackay Bennett, took a collection of his possessions to an auctioneer.
Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, where the snap will go under the hammer next month, said it gave a "unique insight" into the final chapter of the Titanic.
"The Titanic has a beginning, middle and end," he said. "This isn't one of the most pleasant or glamorous, but it brings a certain level of realism to the story.
"She was the ship of dreams but the story ended with bodies being pulled out of the water.
"When we were looking through the archive, the picture jumped from the rafters. It is a chapter very little is known about.
"It has always been said that the process was dignified and organised, but piles of bodies are neither of those. The bodies are piled up waist high. This picture shows the dirty side of the business."