A GRAVESTONE to a teenager killed while working on the Titanic was unveiled in Belfast City Cemetery on Saturday.
Few people until recently would have known that the ship’s first victim was a teenager who died almost two years before the vessel embarked on its doomed maiden voyage.
Samuel Scott, who was just 15, died after he fell while working on the Titanic in the Harland and Wolff shipyard.
His body was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Belfast City Cemetery.
It is believed his death was the first fatality connected to the Titanic, and one of several deaths connected to the manufacture of the liner.
The initiative to erect the headstone comes after the recent publication of the popular children’s book Spirit of the Titanic, written by Nicola Pierce.
Her book focuses on the tragedy with the ghost of Sam travelling along with a family on the Titanic to a new life in America.
Speaking after Saturday’s unveiling ceremony which was organised and supported by the West Belfast Festival, the author said the event was “emotional”.
“I was delighted by how many people came along to pay their respects to this young lad, who had been almost forgotten,” she said.
“It was a very emotional event, and I just felt privileged to be there.”
Ms Pierce said the inspiration for her work came from another book on Belfast City Cemetery by local councillor Tom Hartley.
“After reading his book, I never forgot about this young man who died while building the Titanic and I decided that his ghost could become the narrator for my book, and thankfully it has proved very popular.
“So many people know the story of the Titanic but few people, including myself, knew about this teenager’s tragic story.
“Tom Hartley and Sammy Douglas [East Belfast MLA] have given me great support throughout this and I am delighted that we were able to finally mark the grave of Samuel Scott,” Nicola added.
The Titanic’s maiden voyage was in 1912. It sank after striking an iceberg in the Atlantic with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.
Next year, a series of events in Belfast will be held to commemorate the centenary of the ship’s launch, which are expected to attract thousands of visitors to the city.
Last week the Heritage Lottery Fund revealed funding of £3.25m to help turn SS Nomadic – the only remaining link to the RM Titanic – into a learning and interpretive space.