A facing slip recovered from the body of a U.S. postal clerk working on the RMS Titanic before the ship’s untimely sinking brought £14,000 (about $24,000 Cdn.) at an auction presented by England’s Henry Aldridge and Son this April.
The postal slip was recovered from Oscar Scott Woody, a 41-year-old postal clerk working in the Titanic’s mailroom when it sank in the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912. Stamped “O.S. Woody” and “TITANIC,” the slip is also marked with the Titanic’s trans-Atlantic postal cancellation.
The April 21 auction also included a rare letter card written onboard the Titanic and posted with a 1912 one-penny King George V stamp issued by Britain. The card’s message, which includes, “My wife is in England. Do not write to her,” was written by Henry Beauchamp, a second-class passenger that died in the sinking. The card sold for £16,000 (about $27,500 Cdn.).
The Titanic sank about 600 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland, and Canadian search teams recovered hundreds of bodies, many of which are buried in Halifax, as part of the recovery effort.
According to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, the Titanic carried nearly 3,500 sacks of mail and more than seven million pieces of mail, including about 1.6 million registered letters and packages.