Curator Rebecca Watkin shows one of Henry Wilde's letters to press photographers
There was a hive of activity last week in the Titanic & Liverpool: the untold story exhibition as we were busy installing a new display of personal items relating to Henry Wilde.
Henry Wilde was a senior officer on Titanic and the museum was honoured when the opportunity to display these never seen before items came to light.
Henry Wilde lived in Walton, Liverpool and worked for White Star for most of his career
The three letters - one to his daughter Jennie from Olympic on 30 March, and two written to Jennie and Nurse aboard Titanic on 9 and 11 April 1912 - detail the preparations before for sailing, and his last minute transfer to Titanic’s crew. The final letters were written on board Titanic and the last was sent from Queenstown during the ship’s stop in Ireland. The letters are very poignant and a heart felt insight into the relationship between a father and his children; he clearly misses them and looks forward to seeing them again. Henry was praised for his part in the launch of Titanic’s lifeboats, but sadly didn’t survive the sinking. His body was never recovered.
The letters really emphasize the human story and personal loss which affected the families as a result of the sinking of Titanic. Many families never saw their loved ones again. The sinking of Titanic shocked the world but would have a longer, devastating effect on the lives of families left behind.