This fascinating exhibition reveals sunken, forgotten letters recently recovered from a shipwreck.

Torpedoed off the coast of Ireland by a German U-Boat on 16 February 1941, the merchant steam boat, the SS Gairsoppa, has lain undisturbed – resting a mile deeper than the Titanic – ever since.

On display are a selection of over 700 personal letters that have been trapped at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for nearly three quarters of a century. From soldiers writing to loved ones, to businessmen and missionaries, the letters offer a unique insight into the lives of ordinary people, living in extraordinary circumstances during the Second World War.

Mimicking the rescue mission’s search lights piercing through the ocean gloom, you can use UV torch lights to reveal snippets of fragmented letters, enjoy original footage of the recovery of SS Gairsoppa by Odyssey Marine Exploration, and write a postcard to your future self.

Also on display are items from the ship’s recently recovered cargo on display, including a silver ingot that was making its way from colonial India to the UK to help with the war effort.

The Postal Museum

15-20 Phoenix Place, London, Greater London, WC1X 0DA

020 7239 2570


Opening times

The Postal Museum and Mail Rail are open every day from 10am to 5pm (excluding 24-26 December).

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