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Letter written on Titanic by a steward who died on doomed ship be sold at auction

Original certified extract, relating to the death of seaman Richard Geddes. Picture by Henry Aldridge and Son Ltd/PA
Claire Hayhurst

A LETTER written onboard the Titanic by a steward who died on the doomed ship is to be sold at auction.

Richard Geddes penned the letter to his wife days before the liner struck an iceberg on April 14 1912.

He was one of more than 1,500 passengers and crew who died.

His letter, written on Titanic stationery, describes how the Titanic previously suffered a near miss.

It was sent to his wife in Southampton in a White Star Line envelope.

Auctioneers estimate that the letter will fetch up to £18,000 when it is sold in Devizes, Wiltshire, on April 27.

"This lot is sold with the original certified extract, relating to the death of a seaman, giving official confirmation of his death in the Titanic disaster plus copies of photographs of Mr Geddes and his wife," auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said.

"It's an exceptional letter on many levels.

"First and foremost it was written onboard the Titanic, it has its envelope, the lot also contains official paperwork relating to Mr Geddes and finally the content is superb, describing the near miss that Titanic nearly suffered that would have changed history."

Part of the letter reads: "My dearest Sal, We got away yesterday after a lot of trouble.

"As we were passing the New York and Oceanic the New York broke her ropes and very nearly ran into us, but we just happened to avoid a collision.

"I could see visions of Belfast it must have been a trying time for the Captain."

Mr Geddes told his wife he believed the Titanic would be "a great deal better" and "steadier" than other ships.

"If we get in on time on Wednesday and there happens to be a boat I will write from New York," he wrote.

He signed it "with fondest love and kisses to my dear wife and kiddies".

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