Published Tuesday, 01 October 2013
The rare photo goes under the hammer this month. (© Henry Aldridge and Son /PA Wire)
The picture is one of a collection which belonged to a crew member of the recovery ship CS Mackay Bennett.
A few days after the Titanic sank in April 1912 the vessel collected 306 bodies, 166 of which were buried at sea.
The ship's priest Reverend Hind is depicted conducting the service, where body bags are piled three high on deck and two crewmen are consigning one body to the ocean.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge of Henry Aldridge & Son, said the photo which will be auctioned on 19 October, gives a unique insight into the final chapter of the Titanic.
She was the ship of dreams but the story ended with bodies being pulled out of the water.
"The Titanic has a beginning, middle and end," he said. "This isn't one of the most pleasant or glamorous but it brings a certain level of realism to the story.
"When we were looking through the archive, the picture jumped from the rafters. It is a chapter very little is known about."
Mr Aldridge continued: "It has always been said that the process was dignified and organised but piles of bodies are neither of those. The bodies are piled up waist high.
"This picture shows the dirty side of the business."
More than 1,500 people lost their lives when the HMS Titanic hit an iceberg during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic more than 100 years ago.
It is thought the photograph could fetch between £3,000 and £5,000.
© UTV News