A WIRRAL survivor of the sinking of the Titanic has finally received a fitting commemoration in Wallasey’s Rake Lane Cemetery.
Sarah Agnes Stap, daughter of Wallasey master mariner Captain Henry Stap, was born at sea in 1865 and at the age of 47, become a first class stewardess on the ill-fated liner
Ms Stap lived in Bidston Avenue, Birkenhead, when she signed on to Titanic and was one of 23 female stewardesses onboard.
More than 1,500 people lost their lives when the vessel ran into an iceberg in the North Atlantic during her maiden voyage in April, 1912.
Her survival has been documented as being down to that of a young cabin boy, who picked her up and put her in a lifeboat after she said he should take her place.
When she died in Birkenhead on March 27, 1937 at the age of 73, she was buried in Rake Lane Cemetery, known for its links to sea disasters.
But Ms Stap’s grave was never fully commemorated until this year, when Friends of Rake Lane Cemetery and stonemason Allen Roberts, of E F Mackie, produced a headstone bearing the inscription: Sarah Agnes Stap 1st Class Stewardess and Titanic Survivor
“Although there are eight members of the family buried in two adjoining graves, there was only a small memorial on one of the graves that simply said ‘Stap’,” said Diane Robinson, of the Friends.
“But recently, Allen Roberts has made and installed a special memorial to commemorate Sarah and her father.”
The Friends of Rake Lane Cemetery was formed seven years ago after a spate of vandalism saw memorials smashed and damaged beyond repair.
Since then, the group has raised substantial funds to improve security of the cemetery and has launched several guided walks and talks – including the Stap family grave.
Mrs Robinson added: “Initially, it seemed as if there wouldn’t be much interest in the cemetery but Wallasey is closely linked to Liverpool’s vast maritime history, including the three major sea disasters of the early 20th century – the Titanic, Empress of Island and Lusitania.”