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Last Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008, 13:46 GMT
Titanic letter could fetch 9,000
A letter penned by a passenger of the doomed Titanic which sank in 1912, killing 1,522 people on board, is expected to raise 9,000 at auction.

Charles Jones, who worked for the Colgate firm in New York, was returning to the US after a UK trip to buy sheep from Dorset farmer James Foot.

Mr Foot received Mr Jones' last letter on 15 April, the actual day the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg.

Duke's of Dorchester Auctioneers will auction the item on 10 April.

The story contained within these documents is very moving
Duke's of Dorchester

According to Dukes, the note, on headed White Star paper, read: "Just had lunch and a cigar and feel fine..."

Just days later, Mr Jones was dead after the vessel, which was on its maiden voyage, sank.

Following the sinking, Mr Jas Colgate kept in touch with Mr Foot, sending him newspaper cuttings from America.

One of the cuttings tells the story of Mr Jones' last moments on board the doomed vessel.

The discovery of the letters and papers was made by Mr Foot's family.

Penny Ems, his great granddaughter, said: "We only found these papers after my father died and we were going through things.

Moving story

"My son Mark, who is 15, opened the envelope and spotted the Titanic paper.

"My father was a keen historian and I don't think he knew about them.

"I would imagine my grandfather put them in the envelope and they've been there ever since.

"I think Mr Jones had been over to the UK before and knew my great grandfather James Foot."

Deborah Doyle, from Duke's auction house, said: "The story contained within these documents is very moving.

"There are telegrams that show the receding hope of finding Mr Jones alive, then the newspaper articles from the Bennington Evening Banner with accounts of the disaster."

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