London announce that it will offer as part of its sale of English Literature, History, Childrens Books and Illustrations on Wednesday, 17 December, 2008, a rare first-hand account by a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, estimated at £15,000-20,000. Archie Jewell, who wrote of his experiences to his sister, was the watchman on the ship who was first alerted the to the threat of ice and growlers on his watch shift, and was relieved from his shift just 90 minutes before the ship struck the iceberg.
I shall never forget the sight of that lovely big ship goin down and the alfull crys of the people in the water and you could hear them dying out one by one it was enough to make anyone jump over board and be out of the way... one boat picked up one of the sailors and he went mad in the boat and wanted to go overboard again but he died in the boat.
Jewell was the first survivor to give evidence at the British Inquiry into the sinking at Buckingham Gate, during which he was interrogated mostly about his role in the manning of lifeboat no.7, the first to be lowered from the ship. Remarkably, Jewells evocative and moving accounts also include the description of his later survival of the sinking of the Titanics sister ship HMS Britannic, which made him one of only three survivors of both sea disasters.