A world leading authority on the Titanic disaster has died at his home in Southampton aged 82.

Brian Ticehurst was responsible more than any other historian for revealing the individual stories of the 549 Titanic’s crew members and passengers who lived in and around the Southampton area , who made up over a third of the estimated 1496 victims of the sinking in 1912.

A founder member of the British Titanic Society , Mr Ticehurst was responsible for organising its first annual convention in 1992 at the Southampton’s Hilton Hotel.

He helped thousands of people all over the world connect with the history of Titanic and understand how the White Star Line crew members worked.

His vast knowledge was accumulated before the age of the Internet by talking and writing to a dwindling band of Titanic survivors and family relatives of those who were saved or were lost.

His works included “The Crew of the RMS Titanic” and “Titanic Memorials World Wide” , in which he located 930 such memorials dotted across the globe.

These publications were frequently re-printed due to demand and continue to be used by historians, authors , tv documentary and film makers across the world.

Mr Ticehurst , of Mardon Close , Swaythling , also revealed the stories behind the empty graves of Titanic victims in Southampton’s Old Cemetery on The Common.

In 1912 most families of the dead crew members couldn’t afford the cost of bringing them back to Britain and most were buried in Halifax , Nova Scotia.

Mr Ticehurst , a former teleprinter and radio operator with the RAF , worked for the Southern Daily Echo for 12 years until his retirement.

One of his most notable achievements was lobbying to get a replica granite memorial erected to the Titanic band leader Wallace Hartley and his musicians , on a new Southampton office building in 1990 . The previous memorial had been destroyed when Southampton library in London Road was bombed during WW2.

The author of hundreds of articles , Mr Ticehurst recently contributed to popular web sites like Encyclopaedia Titanica and was even called on as an expert for court cases involving the sale of Titanic memorabilia.

He was also an outspoken critic of those who sought to exploit the Titanic disaster, including a couple who got married in a submersible next to the liner’s North Atlantic wreck site in 2001.

Maritime historian and author Peter Boyd-Smith , who runs Cobwebs ocean liner memorabilia shop in Northam Road in Southampton :” I knew Brian for 40 years and he was a great authority in the UK about the Titanic’s crew and the Southampton story. He set a fantastic standard in his research and I still use his books all the time,” he added.

Andrew Aldridge , the Devizes based auctioneer who has hosted some of the most notable sales of Titanic memorabilia in the UK , was also a close friend and said :” Brian was always interested in the people behind the Titanic story and he understood the real impact the sinking had on Southampton.”

Former BBC South TV News Editor and Daily Echo reporter Lee Desty said : “Brian was “old school” in that he disliked comedians and politicians using the Titanic disaster to raise a laugh or to win votes. He believed the tragedy should still be respected.”

Mr Ticehurst also wrote a number of Southampton local history books on Swaythling, Portswood and The Seaman’s Home in Oxford Street.

His huge contribution in telling the human story of Titanic was officially recognised in a panel displayed in Southampton’s Sea City Museum , which opened in time for the Titanic centenary in 2012.

Married for 60 years to his wife Janet, he is survived by a brother and two sisters , a son , two grandchildren and two great grandchildren .

His funeral will be held at the South Stoneham Cemetery Chapel at 1245pm on Thursday November 15.