Letter from Titanic Electrical Engineer William Kelly to his mother

RMS Titanic
9 April 1912 [*]

My Dear Mother,

As this is the last opportunity I will have of writing home for some time am sending this to let you know how I was getting on.

We are just after leaving Cherburgh [sic], after a wild passage across the English Channel.

We have a large crowd of passengers on board, the 1st + 2nd class are just what you would expect but the third class are terrible they include everything from a Christian to a Jew, not excluding Chinese and Japanese with children of all ages.

We are living like princes now, we had lunch at 1o'c[lock], I thought it was [illegible], and we dined at 7 o'c.

I hope when the Atlantic gets a hold of me I won't be sorry I eat so much.

I did not spend a bad Easter, of course, the Monday is the Chief day here.  I went to a place called the Common where there was a fancy show, and afterwards I went for a trip into the country.  

I like Southampton very much the scenery is beautiful and the town itself is very nice, but it is very old fashioned.

From what I have seen of England I think Ireland is not a bad place after all.  Dublin is certainly a more up to date cit[y] in every way than Southampton, which is considered a leading English city.

You might tell Rose to send me a few arrangements for hanging up coats and an unlined pair of brown kid gloves size 8 ¼ or 8 ½.  Send them to meet the boat a[t] Southampton.

I think I will now conclude.

Yours affectionately


P.S. I intended sending you the money tfor the box, but I forgot to get the P.O. [Postal Order] before comming on board.  WK.

William Kelly Titanic Letter Page 1 William Kelly Titanic Letter Page 1 William Kelly Titanic Letter Page 1  William Kelly Titanic Letter Page 4

* The letter is dated 9th April 1912, The Titanic was at Cherbourg on 10th April 1912.

Related Biographies:

William Patrick Kelly

Relates to Place:

Cherbourg, Normandy, France
Southampton, Hampshire, England


Courtesy of Hugh Kelly, Ireland

Comment and discuss

  1. avatar

    Mary Beth said:

    Very interesting- An Amazon Prime movie, Saving the Titantic is a wonderful movie that references William Kelly's contribution in keeping electric on so passengers could see in attempt to escape

Leave a comment


Encyclopedia Titanica (2012) Letter from Titanic Electrical Engineer William Kelly to his mother ( ref: #17881, published 4 May 2012, generated 26th May 2020 10:41:13 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/letter-from-titanic-electrical-engineer-william-kelly-to-his-mother.html