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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
66   Charles Lightoller  $1000 $5576 $6134 8 You must login to place a bid.

#66 - Charles Lightoller

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The ship’s highest ranking surviving officer recounts his final words with Dr. Simpson and other officers: “We merely exchanged the words ‘Goodbye, old man.’ This occurred shortly before the end”

Second officer on board the Titanic, and the most senior officer to survive the disaster. He was the last survivor taken on board the rescue ship Carpathia. TLS signed “C. H. Lightoller,” two pages, lightly-lined, 8 x 10, embossed White Star Line letterhead, S.S. Adriatic, May 1, 1912. Letter to R.W. Graham of Holt & Co. of New York informing Graham that Titanic assistant surgeon John E. Simpson was lost at sea. In full (with a couple of handwritten corrections by Lightoller): “In reply to yours of the 30th ultimo, I am sorry to say that Asst. Surgeon John E. Simpson was on the ‘Titanic,’ (not Asst. Purser, as stated in the papers).

I deeply regret your loss, which is also mine. I may say I was practically the last man to speak to Dr. Simpson, and on this occasion he was walking along the boat-deck in company with Messrs. McElroy, Barker, Dr. O’Loughlin and four assistant pursers. They were all perfectly calm in the knowledge that they had done their duty and were still assisting by showing a calm and cool exterior to the passengers. Each one individually came up to me and shook hands. We merely exchanged the words ‘Goodbye, old man.’ This occurred shortly before the end and I am not aware that he was seen by anyone after. With deepest sympathy for you in the loss of your friend.” Beautifully archivally triple-cloth-matted and framed with a photo of Lightoller and descriptive plaque to an overall size of 32 x 17.5. In fine condition, with intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, a few light wrinkles and creases, and a couple spots of light toning.

Lightoller had been travelling on the Adriatic at this time on his return to England following his testimony at the American Senate Inquiry into the Titanic Disaster. He had been immediately detained following his arrival on Carpathia in New York, and was making his return to England at the time this letter was written. Lightoller describes the final moments and whereabouts of such iconic Titanic figures as its chief purser, chief surgeon, and assistant surgeon, as well as describing what may have been Dr. Simpson's final words before he was lost. For these words to have come directly from Titanic's highest ranking surviving officer, while he was returning home after being detained in America, elevates this letter to a class all of its own. Oversized. RR Auction COA.

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