A LETTER written by a Titanic steward from Southampton in which he stated he thought the ill-fated voyage would not be the ship's 'crowning trip' has surfaced.

Edward Stone penned the prescient note on Titanic-headed paper to his 'darling wife' Violet shortly before the liner left her last port of call of Queenstown, now Cobh.

He referred to the 45,000 tonne vessel's near-miss collision with another liner in Southampton which almost curtailed Titanic's maiden voyage to New York in 1912.

Mr Stone, who was a second class cabin steward, said in his letter how he didn't think the voyage would be Titanic's crowning trip.

Unfortunately, it is not clear what he meant by that although he may have been referring to the fact the liner was only half full of passengers.

Daily Echo:

Mr Stone also pledged to bring his wife a present back from New York, stating: "We'll do the best we can trusting we shall bring something good from the other side."

He finished his final letter: "Ta ta sweetheart. With all of my fondest love to my dear little wife. Yours ever your loving husband Ted."

The letter, which still has its original envelope, was posted in Queenstown in Ireland and sent to Violet Stone who was living in Shirley, Southampton, at the time.

Three days later Mr Stone was one of the 1,522 passengers and crew who perished when Titanic struck and iceberg and sank.

Daily Echo:

His body was recovered from the Atlantic days later and he was buried in Halifax, Canada.

The letter is now coming up for sale with Henry Aldridge and Son Auctioneers in Devizes, Wilts, by a descendant of Mr Stone.

Being sold alongside it the original certified extract to the death of a seaman confirming Mr Stone was one of those lost in the disaster and original photos of Ted and Violet.

The pre-sale estimate for the archive is £18,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "This letter has never been seen before and comes fresh to the market by a distance descendant of Edward Stone.

"The content of the letter is very good as it references the incident at Southampton with the SS New York.

Daily Echo:

"Letters that were written on board Titanic and on White Star Line headed notepaper always attract a lot of interest and they provide a tangible link to the ship.

"This is clearly very poignant as Edward Stone did not survive the disaster and this was his last letter home.

"It is very unusual to have the original envelope with the letter as well."

The archive is being sold on Saturday.