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Merseyside Maritime Museum opens Henry Wilde display in Titanic exhibition

Merseyside Maritime Museum presents letters written on board Titanic, which have been hidden away for a century, are part of a new display in the exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story about the Titanic’s Chief Officer, Henry Wilde.

Henry Wilde lived in Walton, north Liverpool. He had worked for White Star for most of his career and had served under Captain Edward Smith on Olympic. Smith may have requested that he was transferred to Titanic at short notice, a decision that would have a profound effect on Wilde and his family. Henry perished in the sinking but was heralded a hero for saving lives by ushering women and children into lifeboats.

The display includes a letter he wrote to his daughter Jennie from Olympic on 30 March, then two written aboard Titanic on 9 and 11 April 1912. The two Titanic letters to Jennie and Nurse, his children’s nanny, were sent from Cobh in Queenstown, Ireland, which was the liner’s final stop before she headed across the Atlantic. They are written on Titanic letter headed paper.

The father-of-four writes about his disappointment at not being able to return to Liverpool after he was transferred to Titanic at the eleventh hour. He describes Titanic as being “a very fine ship, an improvement on Olympic in so many ways”. –