A bottle thrown into the sea by a victim of the sinking of the Titanic found 105 years later
Sylvie Claire / May 11, 2021
On April 13, 1912, Mathilde Lefebvre, a young passenger on the Titanic, threw a bottle into the sea on the eve of the sinking. She was finally found in Canada 105 years later. TF1 went to meet her descendant.
Found by walkers on a Canadian beach in 2017. Closed with a wax stopper, it had revealed a message lost in the waves of the Atlantic for over a century. I am throwing this bottle into the sea in the middle of the Atlantic. We must arrive in New York in a few days. If anyone finds it, please let the Lefebvre family in Liévin know. Mathilde Lefebvre.
The sender, Mathilde Lefebvre, 12 years old forever, lost her life the next day, along with her family. Her mother Marie, her little brother Henri, 5 years old, and her little sisters Jeanne and Ida, 8 and 3 years old, will never reach the United States. On April 14, 1912, the Titanic sank to the bottom of the sea, pierced by an iceberg. Housed in third class, among the poorest passengers on the ship, the Lefebvre family had no chance of survival.
Mathilde's father, Franck Lefebvre, had emigrated to the United States the year before. The miner by profession had left his native Pas-de-Calais to hope for a better future on the other side of the ocean. Thanks to his savings, he had been able to finance the trip of part of his family: his wife and four of his nine children were thinking of joining him and starting a new life in the New World.
Overwhelmed by the tragedy, Franck searched in vain for his wife and children before being deported by the American authorities to France for illegal residence. He then returned to the Pas-de-Calais to finish his days, reports LCI. The teams of the TF1 news channel found this week one of his descendants. Hélène, Mathilde's great-cousin.
If it is authenticated, which will not be confirmed until next August, Mathilde's letter will be considered the oldest message of its kind ever found.