Titanic survivor's account fetches £20,000

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A woman's account of escaping the sinking Titanic in 1912 sold for £20,000 at auction the press association reports.

Laura Francatelli from London said she heard an "awful rumbling" as the liner went down and "then came screams and cries" from 1,500 drowning passengers.

Her account was recorded in a signed affidavit for the official British inquiry into the disaster.

The historic document went under the hammer at Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, Wiltshire and was bought by an Eastern European collector.

Miss Francatelli, who was 31 at the time, was travelling with baronet Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon and his wife Lady Lucy Christiana, as his secretary.

The account describes how they boarded one of the last lifeboats containing just five passengers and seven crew, admitting they did not consider going back for survivors.

Sir Cosmo later paid the crew members £5 each - now worth about £300 - which some have described as blood money for saving their lives.

Miss Francatelli died in 1967. The document remained in her family until after her death and has since been owned by two private collectors.

An extremely rare lithographic pre-maiden voyage poster, which went for a world record £60,000 for a Titanic poster, was also sold.

It features Olympic in the foreground followed by Titanic in the background, ironically sailing into a sunset, but each underway at sea.

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Laura Mabel Francatelli

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2010) Titanic survivor's account fetches £20,000 (Titanic News, ref: #11715, published 20 October 2010, generated 22nd June 2021 10:56:51 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivors-account-fetches-20000.html