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Titanic locker key goes for £85,000 at auction

Published 23/10/2016

A small key used by Sidney Sedunary, 23, for a locker on the Titanic sold for £85,000 in a sale of items linked to the ship.
A small key used by Sidney Sedunary, 23, for a locker on the Titanic sold for £85,000 in a sale of items linked to the ship.

A small, corroded key for a locker on the Titanic has sold for £85,000 at auction.

The key was used by Sidney Sedunary, 23, from Shirley, Southampton - a third-class steward and one of the 1,500 passengers and crew who died when the passenger liner hit an iceberg in April 1912.

The "exceptionally rare" item, which was expected to fetch £50,000, was sold at auction by Titanic memorabilia specialists Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, along with hundreds of other items from the doomed vessel.

The key, which is attached to a brass tag stamped "Locker 14 F Deck", is believed to show Mr Sedunary worked on the F Deck on the night which the Titanic sank - despite it being flooded.

It was sent to Mr Sedunary's pregnant wife Madge after his body was recovered and remained in the family until the sale.

Other lots included a postcard written on board the Titanic by chief wireless operator Jack Phillips which sold for £19,000.

Mr Phillips stayed at his post to send distress messages as the ship sunk and is believed to have drowned.

A letter written by the ship's second officer Charles Lightoller, which reveals his parting moments with the vessel's assistant surgeon Dr John Simpson, fetched £34,000 at the auction.

The note reads: "They were all perfectly calm in the knowledge that they had done their duty and were still assisting by showing a calm and cool exterior to the passengers.

"Each one individually came up to me and shook hands. We merely exchanged the words 'goodbye, old man'.

"This occurred shortly before the end and I am not aware that he was seen by anyone after."

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