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BOGUS TITANIC CLAIMS SHOWN


By Amy Cartmell, The Evening Chronicle

Apr 10, 2004

A telegram claiming the Titanic was safe will go on display to mark the 92nd anniversary of the tragedy. The largest liner in the world claimed 1,500 lives when she hit an iceberg on her maiden voyage on April 12, 1912. Titanic - The World-Class Collection is going on display in Milburn House, Dean Street, Newcastle. The "Titanic Safe" telegram and the story surrounding it will be on display from tomorrow.

This telegram was sent to Congressman Hughes of West Virginia, whose daughter, Mary Eloise Hughes, and son-in-law were first-class passengers. The text, signed "White Star Line", was dated April 15, 1912. The American Committee of Inquiry was unable to establish the identity of the author of the telegram, which was delivered to a Western Union branch office. Its verdict on the telegram was as follows: "Whoever sent this message under the circumstances is guilty of the most reprehensible conduct."

The White Star Line was itself held up to Press scrutiny as to when it first knew of the tragedy. Evidence supplied to the inquiry indicated it was in full possession of the facts long before the disaster was made public. During that period, the company said it had no information, but at the same time was sending encouraging-sounding telegrams to prominent individuals.

Also showcased are details of passengers and crew members with North East connections, including journa
list William Thomas Stead, 62, who was born in Embleton, Northumberland. Stead had been invited to New York to speak at a peace conference.

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