It had been thought that the letter sold for a record £119,000 at the weekend had been the last letter written from the Titanic, but now another letter has surfaced which was not only being written at the moment of impact with the iceberg but also includes the first written instance of the acronym ‘WTF’.
“This is a really exciting find,” said auctioneer Jack Hamburg of auctioneers Hamburg & Grunter. “The letter actually refers to the iceberg itself, before moving into the all-important WTF, which makes it stand above the other tat that is usually associated with the old legend.”
Written by noted eccentric, Dr Nigel Fortescue, to his beloved pet tapir, the letter starts gently enough by prattling on about reading in the Library after luncheon. Then the pace becomes more frenetic with frequent exclamations and expletives following the inaugural use of WFT.
“My dearest Tappy,” he wrote. “I’m writing to you from the deck. There is a clear sky overhead and a large white pyramid ahead, I’m not sure what it’s doing there but it’s really beautif…….”
The words become incoherent at this point as the ink is smudged. Then Dr Fortescue continues with. “WTF?? OMG we’ve hit the fucking pyramid. There’s ice all over the deck. Scary! Now I know why they call this the poop deck.”
The letter trails off into what would be known as text speak today. The last entry reassuringly reads “Steward joked we have ice 4 a lifetime’s G&T. LOL.”
The letter will be coming up for auction shorty along with the double bass on which Dr Fortescue floated to safety and Tappy the Tapir, who he stuffed in 1921, 3 years before the creature’s death.