R.M.S. TITANIC: An exceptional letter written onboard the ill-fated liner by first class passenger Alfons Simonius-Blumer. The letter is written in Swiss German on the morning of 11th April on Titanic stationery over four pages. The content of the letter is truly exceptional and is sold with its original envelope stamped Queenstown, Ireland 11th April, 1912 and Basel, Switzerland 13th April 1912.
On board "R.M.S.Titanic". 11/4/1912 10 a.m. 1912
Between Cherbourg and Queenstown
You will get this letter, probably on April 13th, and I will be halfway from yesterday and the day before. Yesterday evening at 7 o'clock we were at Cherbourg dock and I was standing at the entrance when I suddenly saw the three Frö?hlichers and they were instantly surprised by my welcome in Swiss (German). We sat with them at the same table in the dining room (25 × 35m in size), a six-seat table where we eat together and can talk a little together afterwards.
Last night I slept wonderfully from half past 10 to 7 o'clock this morning and I've ridden the (electric) horse and camel. They have left me well shaken up, and this afternoon at 3 or 4 o'clock I think I will take a Turkish bath. Although the wind is blowing strongly, the ship is not heeling over one bit, and I certainly think that not even you would get seasick, because everywhere the air is excellent.
In the smoking saloon and the other saloons they burn fires, mostly coal, and partly gas, but the air is good because of artificial ventilation against the smoke. It is really as good as the best hotel.
In an hour we shall be in Queenstown and stay there for the mails for probably a few hours. After that the real journey to the ocean begins
I wrote yesterday to Paul, so he knows my address, and he will ensure that the meeting at the end of May in Vienna takes place.
I received despatches yesterday in Cherbourg from Banff (Canada) & London and will now be only four days without news, because by as soon the 16th we will probably already be in London (sic - means New York), because our ship runs 25 - 26 knots per hour and the clock is reset every midnight by 63 minutes, because New York is five hours behind London.
Dr. Stachelin and the Frö?hlicher family send friendly greetings and the only regret of the latter is that you and Ella are not on the ship. They are visiting a brother-in-law and a brother and stay circa until the end of May, then return with the second son who has been overseas for about 1½ years (eighteen months). Now, farewell! Greetings to all, and feel kissed by your Alphons.
PS. Here in the smoking room (at the end of the ship) you can feel the propellers working, while in my cabin it is as quiet as in my room at home.
Mr Alfons Simonius-Blumer, 56, a colonel in the Swiss Army, was born on 23rd October 1855 in Basel, Switzerland. Mr Alfons Simonius-Blumer was accompanied by Dr. Max Staehelin-Maeglin, a lawyer. They boarded the Titanic as first class passengers. Their destination was New York, where they wanted to look after the business of Heine & Co., which belonged to the Swiss Bankverein. Simonius-Blumer bought his first class ticket number 13213 (£35 10s) from his agent: Kaiser & Cie., Basel for 897.35 Swiss francs. He boarded at Southampton and occupied cabin A-26. On Sunday evening (April 14th) Alfons Simonius-Blumer, Max Frölicher-Stehli and Max Staehelin-Maeglin sat in the first class smoke room and played cards until shortly after 11 pm. Around 11.30 pm they went to their staterooms. After the collision he went outside to see what had happened.
At 0.50 am he entered lifeboat 3 together with Max Staehelin-Maeglin. Lifeboat 3 (capacity 65) was launched from the starboard side at 1.00 a.m. under the command of Able Bodied Seaman George Moore. It contained 38 or 40 people. Later they rowed to keep warm. Lifeboat 3 arrived at the Carpathia at about 6.00 on the morning of April 15th 1912. In New York he was met by Dr. Hans Winterfeldt. He and Max Staehelin went to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. They visited the Heine Co. and travelled back to Europe on 7th May 1912 aboard of the Prinzessin Victoria Luise. Alfons Simonius-Blumer left the Army in 1913. He died in Lucerne from heart failure on 26th May 1920.
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