Letter reveals what life was like on the ill-fated Titanic which sank after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage.
Letter reveals what life was like on the ill-fated Titanic which sank after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage.

'Really magnificent': Rare letter reveals life on Titanic

A RARE letter written on-board the RMS Titanic is going up for auction, detailing what life was like during the final days of the ill-fated ship.

The letter was written by Second Class passenger and survivor Kate Buss on April 10, 1912, after she left Southampton, England, according to auction house Henry Aldridge & Son.

"It's a superb letter and it has been in the possession of the family since Miss Buss posted it on the Titanic," said Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, in an email to Fox News.

Mr Aldridge added that the letter is written over four sides in black ink.

The letter from Ms Buss is addressed to her brother Percy James and notes that she received his letter while she was on-board and she had "notified her mother and Mrs Lingham".

"I've been quite alright - but now feel dead tired and more fit for bed than anything," Ms Buss wrote in the letter. "Have to go to dinner-tea in half an hour."

The letter from Kate Buss to her brother Percy James gives an intimate look at what life was like on the Titanic. Picture: Henry Alridge & Son
The letter from Kate Buss to her brother Percy James gives an intimate look at what life was like on the Titanic. Picture: Henry Alridge & Son

 

The letter gives a further glimpse into life on the Titanic, which sank in the Atlantic Ocean in the early hours of April 15, 1912, just five days after its maiden voyage started. There were approximately 2224 people on-board the ship, and 1503 perished, making it one of the most deadly shipwrecks in modern history.

"Mr Peters spent about an hour on the vessel and they might easily have spent another without waste of time," Ms Buss wrote. "The first class apartments are really magnificent and unless you had first seen them you would think the second class were the same."

She also wrote that they had not yet reached Cherbourg, France, but the mail had cleared. "I think I'd best try and get some postcards of the vessel," she wrote.

She also wrote that the passenger she was sharing her stateroom with had not yet turned up and was advised to eat a good lunch by two clergymen opposite her at the table.

In the email to Fox News, Aldridge said the clergymen may have been one of Father Byles, Rev Harper or Rev Robert Bateman, as they "were all Second Class passengers so it's conceivable she could have been sat with one of them".

Father Byles perished on the Titanic, remaining on the ship, hearing confessions and giving absolution according to media reports. Rev Harper and Rev Bateman also perished, freezing to death in the icy cold water as the ship sank.

Kate Buss. Picture: Henry Alridge & Son
Kate Buss. Picture: Henry Alridge & Son

 

Ms Buss concluded the letter that she would put the letter in the post.

"Must clear and have a wash now," she wrote. "Will pop this in the [mail] in case I'm sea sick tomorrow. PW brought a box of chocolates - shouldn't wonder if I'm like Jim Buss and get it the other way. Give my love to all enquirers - must go. Much love, Kate."

Ms Buss was saved in lifeboat number 9 when the Carpathia picked her up. She was the last to be unloaded "due to her fear of heights" Mr Aldridge said.

She had been sailing to America to marry her fiance Samuel Willis, and the wedding went ahead on May 11 as planned.

The letter has a pre-sale estimate of $36,500-$45,600.

Ms Buss died on July 12, 1972 aged 96.

This story was originally published on Fox News and was republished with permission.



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