Letter by Titanic Bandleader Wallace Hartley

This remarkable letter was sent from on board the Titanic on April 10, 1912 by Wallace Hartley, the courageous Titanic bandleader who led the band as they continued to play until the ship’s final moments. Hartley penned this letter to his parents on the first day of Titanic’s voyage.

The letter reads:

Just a line to say we have got away all right. It’s been a bit of a rush but I am just getting a little settled. This is a fine ship & there ought to be plenty of money on her. I’ve missed coming home very much & it would have been nice to have seen you all if only for an hour or two, but I couldn’t manage it. We have a fine band & the boys seem very nice. I have had to buy some linen & I sent my washing home today by post. I shall probably arrive home on the Sunday morning. We are due here on the Saturday. I’m glad mother’s foot is better.


Wallace Hartley was killed in the sinking of the Titanic days later on April 15. His body was recovered weeks later and over 40,000 people lined the route of his funeral procession.

In April 2012, this letter sold at auction for $185,969.

(Image source: RR Auction)