1. ITV Report

First glimpse of one of the last letters sent from Titanic

One of the last letters from the Titanic will go on display this summer at the new Belfast visitors' centre dedicated to the liner.

The letter sent from the Titanic which will go on display this summer Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Assistant ship's surgeon Dr John Simpson's note to his mother was brought ashore at Cobh, Co Cork, the vessel's last stop.

It will be displayed at the multimillion-pound Titanic Belfast building in the city's docks where the boat was built.

Dr John Martin the great-nephew of Dr John Simpson holds the letter sent from the Titanic Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The 37-year-old Belfast doctor was married and had one son when he took the commission on Titanic. He previously worked on another White Star Line ship - the Olympic.

In the missive, dated April 11 1912, Dr Simpson said he was settling into his cabin well and that the accommodation on board his new vessel was larger. It was signed off: "With fondest love, John."

Dr John Martin receives the letter sent from the Titanic Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Dr Simpson died when the Titanic sank on April 15 1912. It was feared the message, written on notepaper headed RMS Titanic, would never return to Belfast after it was put up for auction in New York in March with a reserve price of £21,692.

The Titanic Foundation, the charitable group which oversaw the building of Titanic Belfast, stepped in to buy the item.

Dr John Martin and Kate Dornan, the niece, of Dr John Simpson hold the letter sent from the Titanic Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Dr Simpson's great-nephew, Dr John Martin, said:

It was part of our family history for so long and it is tangible evidence of the man and a link to his personality. It is quite humdrum in its contents, it is just a letter of a man writing to his mother. Although there is no huge emotional content to it, it gained that emotional context by the history of what happened in the following few days afterwards. It is an embodiment of a moment in history and there is that personal connection that the family has to it and that makes it very special to me.