An u2018extremely rareu2019 photograph depicting burials at sea of Titanic disaster victims has been uncovered for an auction later this month.

Image, courtesy Henry Aldridge and Son

The image has been plucked from an archive belonging to R D ‘Westy’ Legate, an officer on a cable-laying ship that was involved in the recovery of hundreds of bodies following the tragedy in April 1912 that claimed the lives of more than 1,500.

A spokesman for auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son in Wiltshire, where the photo is expected to fetch £3,000-£5,000 on 19 October, said: ‘It’s a rare image, as it not only gives us a snapshot into one of the less well known chapters of the story but it also dispels the myth of the process being an ordered one – with bodies piled two or three high, in sacks on deck…

‘Reverend Hind can be clearly seen clearly in the foreground conducting a burial service and crewmen can be observed consigning a body to the ocean.’

The Devizes auction house added: ‘Despite the number of bodies buried at sea, visual records of the burial and service, such as this photograph, are almost non-existent, even in period publications.’