Last Surviving Letter Written On The Titanic To Be Sold At Auction, Tells Of ‘Wonderful’ Journey

After 102 years, the letter is expected to reach £100,000.

1. These words were penned just hours before the doomed liner struck an iceberg and sank.

REX USA/Henry Aldridge/Bournemouth News / Rex

Written on Titanic-headed notepaper, the letter was written by Esther Hart, a passenger enjoying the early uneventful days of the Titanic’s maiden voyage, accompanied by her husband and daughter.

Esther writes: “The sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now. There has been no tempest. It is very nice weather but awfully windy and cold”.

The Hart family were planning to emigrate to Winnipeg, Canada, where they were going to run a chemists.

3. Esther Hart with daughter Eva and husband Benjamin before leaving England.

REX USA/Henry Aldridge/Bournemouth News / Rex

Esther and her daughter survived the sinking of the Titanic, however, her husband Benjamin perished with over 1,500 other passengers in the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Read the letter in full:


My Dear ones all,

As you see it is Sunday afternoon and we are resting in the library after luncheon. I was very bad all day yesterday could not eat or drink and sick all the while, but today I have got over it.

This morning Eva and I went to church and she was so pleased they sang “Oh God our help in ages past” that is her Hymn she sang so nicely. So she sang out loudly she is very bonny. She has had a nice ball and a box of toffee and a photo of this ship bought her today. Everybody takes notice of her through the Teddy Bear.

There is to be a concert on board tomorrow night in aid of the Sailors’ Home and she is going to sing so am I. Well, the sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now. There has been no tempest, but God knows what it must be when there is one.

This mighty expanse of water, no land in sight and the ship rolling from side to side is being wonderful. Tho they say this Ship does not roll on account of its size. Any how it rolls enough for me, I shall never forget it.

It is very nice weather but awfully windy and cold. They say we may get into New York Tuesday night but we are really due early Wednesday morning, shall write as soon as we get there.

This letter won’t leave the ship but will remain and come back to England where she is due again on the 26th. Where you see the letter all of a screw is where she rolls and shakes my arm. I am sending you on a menu to show you how we live. I shall be looking forward to a line from somebody to cheer me up a bit. I am always shutting my eyes and I see everything as I left it.

I hope you are all quite well. Let this be an all round letter as I can’t write properly to all ‘till I can set my foot on shore again. We have met some nice people on board, Lucy, and so it has been nice so far.

But oh the long, long days and nights. It’s the longest break I have ever spent in my life. I must close now with all our fondest love to all of you. From your loving Ess.

Heaps of love and kisses to all from Eva.

REX USA/Henry Aldridge/Bournemouth News / Rex

REX USA/Henry Aldridge/Bournemouth News / Rex

 

After the Titanic struck the iceberg in the north Atlantic, Benjamin Hart, a second class passenger, woke Esther and Eva and guided them to a lifeboat.

He told his wife to hold ‘mummy’s hand and be a good girl’ and that he would see them soon. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

The letter was found in the pocket of Benjamin’s sheepskin coat which he gave to his wife to keep warm.

When Esther arrived in New York with Eva she sent a cable to her parents to confirm they were safe but her husband was missing.

Eva Hart became one of the most well-known survivors of Titanic, mainly because of her outspoken criticism of White Star Line for failing to provide enough lifeboats.

8. Eva Hart on the quay in New York after the Titanic disaster.

REX USA/Henry Aldridge/Bournemouth News / Rex

9. Esther Hart (R) and daughter Eva returning to England after the tragedy.

REX USA/Henry Aldridge/Bournemouth News / Rex

Mrs Hart and her daughter Eva returned to England to live in Chadwell Heath, east London.

Mrs Hart died in 1928 aged 65. Eva went on to become a magistrate and died in 1996 aged 91.

11. Eva Hart pictured in 1996.

REX USA/Alex Lentati / Evening Standard / Rex

The letter is now being sold by auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son of Devizes, Wiltshire, on April 26th.

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