Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

30/4/2012

The Last Letter Written by Robert Douglas Norman, Before Boarding the Titanic

The Last Letter Written by Robert Douglas Norman, Before Boarding the Titanic
A rare and poignant letter written by a Scot one hundred years ago as he prepared to board the doomed RMS Titanic, has been discovered by staff at the National Records of Scotland.

Robert Douglas Norman, a 28-year-old electrical engineer from Glasgow, wrote the letter from his half-sister’s home in London on 9 April 1912 – the eve of the famous liner’s departure from Southampton. Addressed to his brother in Canada, the letter described how Mr Norman wanted his estate to be divided in the event of his death.

He died when the Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean six days later, leaving an estate of more than £8,500 – the equivalent of more than around £650,000 today – to his half-sister, step-niece and cousin.

Mr Norman had been travelling to Vancouver, where he had a brother and a share in some land. He was a second class passenger, paying £13 10s for his ticket. His body was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean by the cable repair ship CS Mackay-Bennett, and was buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 6 May 1912.

The National Records of Scotland discovered the rare letter, along with the inventory of Mr Norman’s estate, as part of their work to digitise thousands of paper records for the ScotlandsPeople genealogy website. You can learn more about Robert Douglas Norman and read the full letter on a dedicated page on the NAS website.

To mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, the original letter will be shown as part of a display at the ScotlandsPeople Centre at General Register House in Edinburgh. The free display can be seen from 16 April until 25 May, Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 16.30.

source- National Records of Scotland.

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