THE last known letter to be written on the Titanic has sold for £119,000 at auction in Devizes.
The letter was written by survivors Esther Hart and her seven-year-old daughter Eva only hours before the ship hit an iceberg and sank in 1912. Mrs Hart’s husband Benjamin didn’t survive the tragedy.
The letter survived because it was in the pocket of Benjamin’s coat which he gave his wife and daughter to keep warm - his last act ever for them.
The letter, embossed with the White Star Line insignia, is headed “On board the RMS Titanic, Sunday afternoon” and begins, “ My dear ones all, As you see it is Sunday afternoon. We are resting in the library after luncheon.”
The message had been destined for Esther Hart’s mother in Chadwell Heath, east London.
The letter went under the hammer at Wiltshire auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son of Devize.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told the BBC that the letter was unique.
"It's very rare because it's a letter that's written on board Titanic, which makes it exceptional," he said.
"But what rises it to the absolute top of the pile is it's the only letter known that was written on Sunday 14 April, so the day the ship hit the iceberg.
"So we can say with absolute certainty that about 12 hours after this letter was written the Titanic was at the bottom of the North Atlantic".
The Belfast-built ship sank on its maiden voyage in 1912 with the loss of more than 1,500 people, including Benjamin Hart.