Although the provenance of the material is unknown the memorabilia was apparently collected by Florence and later probably came into the possession of their only son, William Thurston Gwynne, who was a long-time resident of Brookhaven Hamlet. Most of the letters have survived in excellent condition.
Crew members of Titanic who were detained as possible witnesses - there was a delay in sending the wire to tell them they could leave of their own volition. Here they are looking through closed dock gates at Plymouth on 4th May, 1912
This drawing gives some idea of the iceberg hazards faced by the Titanic, including the one it hit. The Carpathia, pictured on the left, was some 58 nautical miles away when it received the message that the ship was in trouble.
White Star Chairman Bruce Ismay boarded a lifeboat to safety and was criticized by many for his decisions regarding Titanic. A letter from his wife, Florence, reveals the relief she felt upon realizing he had made it through the disaster alive: "...Only a week ago today...I watched that magnificent vessel sail away so proudly. I never dreamt of danger as I wished her Godspeed...I know so well what bitterness of spirit you must be feeling for the loss of so many precious lives & the ship...