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Titanic locker key expected to fetch thousands at auction in Wiltshire

The incredibly rare key is expected to fetch £30,000 - £50,000 at auction. Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son

A tiny locker key salvaged from a victim of the Titanic is one of a number of items from the ship to go on auction in Wiltshire this afternoon.

The key - which belonged to a Third Class Steward on the vessel and was used to retrieve lifejackets from a locker during the disaster - is expected to fetch as much as £50,000.

It's one of many Titanic artefacts being auctioned off today in the Titanic and Icons of the 20th Century lot.

The key - described as 'exceptionally rare' by auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son - is made of brass and stamped with the tag 'Locker F Deck 14'.

It was in the possession of steward Sidney Sedunary as the Titanic sank. He was one of the 1500 people who lost their lives in the disaster.

Sidney frantically tried to save lives as the ship sank, heroically staying on the F Deck as it flooded - according to evidence given to the British Inquiry into the disaster by another steward - John Hart:

Sidney Sedunary was a third class steward on the Titanic who stayed behind to save lives. Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son

9903 I waited about there with my own people trying to show them that the vessel was not hurt to any extent to my own knowledge, and waited for the chief third class steward, or some other Officer, or somebody in authority to come down and give further orders. Mr. Kieran came back. He had been to sections S, and Q, and R to see that those people also were provided with lifebelts.

9904. S, and Q, and R are all in the extreme after part of the ship, are not they? -That is correct.

  1. S is on deck G, R is on deck F, and Q is on deck E, all in the extreme afterpart of the ship? -Yes.

  2. He (Chief 3rd class steward Kieran) had been there to your knowledge? -Yes, he had also his assistant with him, one by name of Sedginary. [Sidney Sedunary.]

  3. (The Commissioner.) The chief steward and his assistant, Sedginary, went right aft, did they? -Yes.

– John Hart, Titanic inquiry evidence

The key was returned to Sidney's then pregnant wife Madge (his son was born later that year and given the same name) after the disaster in April 1912.

Sidney's son then passed on the key to a family member visiting from Australia in 1981 together with some copper coins that were also found alongside it.

The key is estimated to sell for £30000-£50000.