Descendants of the man who was at the wheel of the Titanic when it struck an iceberg have unveiled a memorial marking his final resting place.
A new gravestone with information about Robert Hichens has been placed in the city’s Trinity Cemetery following his death in 1940 at the age of 58.
His family only learned about his burial in Aberdeen in 2012, 100 years after the Belfast-built vessel sank on its one and only maiden voyage with the loss of 1,517 lives.
Loved ones gathered around his previously unmarked grave yesterday to see the refreshed memorial for the first time.
Hichens was helmsman and one of six quartermasters on the legendary liner’s ill-fated journey from Southampton to New York in 1912.
His character was tarnished by the event and the ensuing controversy surrounding his role in the disaster, but Robert’s great-granddaughter Sally Nilsson, who unveiled the new plaque, has fought tirelessly to help redeem his reputation.
She wrote the book The Man Who Sank Titanic: The Troubled Life of Quartermaster Robert Hichens and it was while she was researching the publication she discovered he was buried in Aberdeen.
Enlisting the help of Ian Burnett, bereavement services officer at Aberdeen City Council, they were able to search records to track down Robert’s final resting place in the Trinity Cemetery.
Sally said: “For over 100 years no one knew where the last man at the wheel of Titanic was buried. Two weeks before the 100th anniversary I found out with the help of Ian Burnett.
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“Robert Hichens was one of the most important witnesses on that fateful night. He went on to serve in World War One and was part of the vital convoys as Third Officer on the merchant ship SS English Trader during the Battle of the Atlantic in World War Two.
“We are all very grateful for everyone who has made this special day possible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Ian said: “It’s been an honour to help Sally and her family find the grave of her great-grandfather.”