A SET of rusty keys for a locker on the Titanic that belonged to a Portsmouth cabin steward who miraculously survived are being sold by his family for £60,000.
The keys were belonged to Sidney Daniels, an 18-year-old third class steward who was the last surviving crew member of the luxury liner’s doomed maiden voyage.
They are the only known examples for concurrent lockers on the ship and were for F Deck where third-class passengers resided.
Each key has a matching brass tag stamped locker 41 F Deck and locker 42 F Deck on a single ring and were in Mr Daniels’ pocket when the ship hit and iceberg and sank in April 1912.
After helping passengers into lifeboats, Mr Daniels entered the icy water and survived by hauling himself onto an upturned collapsible lifeboat.
He drifted in and out of consciousness before he was rescued four hours later by the RMS Carpathia, the first ship to reach the scene.
Mr Daniels went on to serve in both the WWI for the Royal Army Service Corps and World War II in the Merchant Navy.
He died in 1983 aged 89 and was the last surviving crew member of the Titanic.
Since his death the keys have been in possession of his family but they have now decided to sell them at Henry Aldridge and Son Auctioneers of Devizes, Wilts.
They have been given a pre-sale estimate of between £50,000 to £60,000.
In his later life, Mr Daniels spoke vividly about his memories of the sinking.
He said he was in his bunk when a night watchman came in and told them to get dressed and up on deck.
He spent time assisting women and children into lifeboats until all but the last two collapsible boats remained.
Mr Daniels assisted until he was up to his knees in water. He then jumped up onto a rail before entering the water.
He swam around for a couple of minutes before climbing aboard ‘collapsible B’ and could heard many men saying the Lord’s prayer in unison.
He also described how a man near him berated him and told him to stay awake otherwise he might not wake up again.
Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge & Son, said: ‘These keys are a spectacular lot on every level.
‘It’s extremely rare to see a pair of keys from the Titanic but to have them being offered via direct descent from the family of the steward who has them in his pocket when he escaped the Titanic is exceptional.
‘It is a true museum quality artefact.’
The sale takes place on Saturday.