Melbourne : A unique postal label from a parcel addressed to the wireless operator on the Titanic, the ill fated British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean during its maiden voyage in April 1912, is expected to be sold for 12,000 pounds at an auction.
The label has a blurry postmark on its six-penny stamp recording the date 11 April 1912. It is addressed to the Jack Phillips, the operator of the Marconi wireless aboard Titanic, and was never delivered because three nights later the ship struck the iceberg.
About 1,503 lives were lost in the disaster, including that of the 25-year-old wireless operator Phillips who stayed at his post sending SOS messages until the sinking ship had lost almost all power.
The label was posted from Chelmsford and addressed ‘c/o the White Star Line in Southampton’.
The package, now lost, is believed to have been a bundle of blank telegram forms for use on board.
It was given to the first officer of the Titanic’s sister ship Olympic to take to New York.
It would then have been handed on to Phillips when the Titanic reached the port at the end of its maiden voyage, ‘The Guardian’ reported.
On the night of April 14, 1912, Phillips is believed to have delayed passing on a message to the bridge from another ship, warning that the Titanic was steaming straight towards an ice field, because he was working through a pile of such telegrams, relaying messages from passengers to Newfoundland.
Gary Watson, an expert at Mossgreen auctioneers which will sell the label in a postal history auction in Australia, regards it as one as the most evocative postal items associated with the ship.–PTI