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Titanic's owners asked victim's brother for cash to repatriate body

By Rod Minchin

A letter from the owners of the Titanic to the family of a dead officer asking for a large sum of money to return his body to England has been uncovered 103 years on from the tragedy.

The letter, dated May 7, 1912 was sent from White Star Lines to Christopher Moody, the brother of officer James Moody (24), who died after the Titanic hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage the previous month.

The company asked for a £20 deposit - the equivalent of £2,100 in today's money - to return his body to England.

The letter from parent company Ismay Imrie & Co suggested that instead of having the body returned, Mr Moody's remains could be buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia - although they offered to send his family "a photograph of the tombstone", if they wanted one.

When the letter was sent, the North Yorkshireman's body had not been recovered, and the company would have known this as all remains were catalogued. The body of Mr Moody, who was on watch when the ship sank and helped passengers into lifeboats, was never found.

The letter is due to be sold at the weekend at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire and is expected to fetch between £20,000 and £25,000.

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