The signature “Love, Jack” was sent by the postcard of a hero from the Titanic disaster – but he was not the fictional (dizzying!) Jack Dawson character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1997 epic movie.
Nevertheless, the 1912 correspondence with a picture of the presumed “unsinkable” ship written by senior wireless operator Jack Phillips is expected to fetch at least $ 15,000 at auction this month.
The then 24-year-old sent the postcard 109 years ago to his sister, Elsie Phillips, from Belfast, Ireland, on March 7, just five weeks before the fateful shipwreck – and his death on April 15.
He wrote a sweet message to his siblings on the back of the blank photo postcard showing the White Star Line’s Titanic on the day of its launch in Belfast on May 31, 1911.
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“Very busy working late,” wrote the experienced telegraph operator who perished after the ship hit the massive iceberg in the North Atlantic off Nova Scotia.
“Hope to leave Monday and arrive in So’ton [Southampton, England] wednesday Afternoon. Hope you are perfectly OK. Heard from Ethel yesterday, “he continued.
He simply signed up with, “Love, Jack.”
In his italic handwriting, Phillips added in the address panel: “Miss E. Phillips, Ryde Hse School, Ripley, Woking, Surrey.”
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It was probably one of the last communications between brother and sister before Phillips left Southampton on the Titanic’s maiden voyage – the intended destination was New York City.
Four days later, the former post office employee who celebrated his 25th birthday aboard the convicted liner turned out to be a true hero of the wreck.
During the sinking, he worked bravely to send wireless messages to other ships to beg them to navigate the treacherous ice fields and rescue the Titanic’s passengers and crew.
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One of these telegraphs was sent to Carpathia, the steamship that famously took on board 705 survivors from lifeboats two hours after the Titanic finally sank at.
This story continues in the New York Post.