“Everyone safe – morning of suspense ends in message of relief.”
Those words, printed in the Daily Mirror on April 16, 1912, would have lifted a huge weight from the shoulders of families desperate for news of the Titanic’s fate.
But the newspaper was left red-faced when it was revealed the ocean liner had sunk, killing more than 1,500 people, the previous day.
Clive Bevan, of Millers Park, Wellingborough, bought an original copy of the paper at auction more than a decade ago.
And, with the anniversary of the disaster this week, he told the Evening Telegraph more about the article.
Mr Bevan said: “The article says that the Titanic is carrying on with its journey and that all the passengers are safe.
“It’s just as full of untruths as some newspapers are today.
“They would have had to change what they had said and come out with the truth, which must have been devastating for the families of those who died.
“If the first reports said everybody was safe they would have breathed a sigh of relief and then the cold truth would have come out.
“It’s very interesting to read, it was 100 years ago and there were not mobile telephones or the internet like there is today, so it wasn’t clear what had happened.
“It’s nice to own such a piece of history, because when I bought it originally I knew it was going to be 10 to 12 years until the anniversary.
“I had no idea it would cause as much interest as it has, especially now there is a new 3D film coming out about it.”
The article wrongly claimed “every man, woman and child on the great liner is safe” and that the “greatest ship the world has ever known” was being towed to a nearby port.
Mr Bevan has made a photocopy, which he has donated to Wellingborough Museum for its Titanic exhibition which opens this weekend.
He added: “I’m pleased to have been able to help them with their exhibition.
“I’m definitely going to go along and have a look, I can take my grandchildren and show them because they’ve already seen the newspaper article.
“I would like very much to be able to sell it. I don’t know how much it is worth but if I am going to sell then now, on its 100th anniversary, would be the best time.”