AN Aldershot couple found a unique way to get around that thorny old chestnut — picking a name for the baby.
Proud parents Adam and Sanya Ward, of Waterloo Road hit on a moment of inspiration, linked to tree surgeon Adam’s fascination with the Titanic disaster.
When their baby daughter was born on January 27 they decided to name her after the youngest Titanic survivor Millvina Dean, who was just nine weeks old when the liner hit an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912.
The young family travelled to Southampton on Sunday April 13, to meet survivor Millvina, now 91, and introduce her to her little namesake.
Sanya, 31, a training manager for jewellers Alexanders in Farnham, explained: “It can be quite a hard thing to think of a name. We liked the idea of an unusual name, but not one that would end up giving her problems. In the end we sort of hit on the name together. Adam knew about Millvina Dean because of his interest in the Titanic and I had seen the name in one of the books.
“We love the name, but we tend to shorten it to Milly. We met Millvina on Sunday and she’s amazing. She’s as bright as a button and now travels the world as a guest speaker at Titanic conventions.
“We will be staying in touch and sending her regular pictures and updates on how our Millvina is doing.”
Adam’s interest in the Titanic dates back to his great-grandfather who used to pass the docks every morning. One day he saw someone painting a picture of the Titanic.
Sanya said: “He asked for first refusal on it, and bought it. Adam always saw the picture hanging up when he was young and he eventually inherited it. He mainly collects books about the Titanic and was in seventh heaven when the film came out.”
Millvina Dean’s father was one of the more than 1,500 people who lost their lives in the Titanic tragedy. The family had been heading for New York to start a new life in America, but Millvina instead returned to Hampshire with her heart-broken mother and brother.
She was delighted to meet her new friends. She said: “It’s very flattering to have a baby named after me. A close has been named after me in Southampton, but this is quite an honour. I’ve no idea where my parents got my name from. The closest anyone has ever come was a girl who went to the same Red Indian school as me in Canada, but she was called Mellvina.”
But how are friends and neighbours reacting to the latest little Millvina?
“People have been surprised by the name because most of them have never heard it before,” said Sanya. “But everyone has said that they think it’s a lovely name.”