A manuscript which describes the final hours of the Titanic by the most senior officer to survive the sinking is set to be auctioned.

The 17-page unpublished document by Charles Lightoller, the vessel’s Second Officer, is going under the hammer with other memorabilia relating to the famous ship.

Mr Lightoller was the last person to be taken aboard the rescue boat Carpathia.

In the account, he says that on Sunday April 14, 1912 when the Titanic struck an iceberg, he had returned to his cabin and was just going to sleep at 11.40pm when he felt a grinding vibration.

Wearing his pyjamas he went on to the deck and met the Third Officer, Herbert Pitman, and both concluded the vessel had hit something but as they could see no sign of anything returned to their cabins to await orders.

But he was soon put to work filling lifeboats with women and children and stayed on board until the water rose on the boat deck.

Mr Lightoller, who was played by Kenneth More in the 1958 Titanic movie A Night to Remember, described in his memoirs how at he watched the vessel sink into the sea.

He said: “It was just two o’clock when she assumed the absolute perpendicular and stood there for a space of about two minutes, an amazing spectacle with her stern straight up in the air, then slowly, but with increasing speed, she quietly slipped beneath the water.”

The document is expected to sell for up to GBP 3,000 at Sotheby’s New Bond Street sale rooms in London.

Published in: on December 3, 2003 at 11:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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