Relatives of Titanic officer seek return of letter

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Updated Sunday, Feb 26 at 11:34 AM

LONDON (AP) — The descendants of a surgeon who died on the Titanic are appealing for help in purchasing a letter he wrote from the doomed ship.

A two-page note John Edward Simpson wrote to his mother days before the ship sank in 1912 is to be auctioned in Long Island, New York, next month.

His relatives cannot afford to bid for the artifact but want it returned to Simpson's hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Simpson's great nephew John Martin said Sunday that he hopes a benefactor will buy the letter and put it on public display in Belfast.

Martin said his family had held the letter for generations but Simpson's 81-year-old daughter-in-law gave it to a Titanic enthusiast in Holland 15 years ago. The family lost track of the letter until learning it is to be auctioned by Philip Weiss Auctions.

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