Cross made out of wood from the Titanic to go under the hammer

The cross by Samuel Alfred Smith made from oak recovered from the Titanic(Photo: Henry Aldridge and Son)

A wooden cross made out of oak from the Titanic is to go under the hammer this week.

The cross was made by Samuel Alfred Smith, a carpenter on the SS Minia, in memory of those who lost their lives when the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage to New York in the early hours of 15 April 1912. 

The SS Minia was one of four ships chartered by the White Star Line in the aftermath of the disaster to assist in the recovery of bodies.  

During the recovery mission, SS Minia crew members  also picked up some of the debris from the ill-fated vessel, with a fragment of oak being used by Smith to fashion his cross. 

It has remained in the Smith family until now, but is going up for auction along with other Titanic artifacts on Saturday at Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, WIltshire. 

The cross measures 5.25 inches and is expected to fetch £18,000. 

The auctioneers said that the object had never been seen in public before and called it an "incredibly powerful and poignant piece". 

It is one item in a collection of objects connected to Smith up for auction, including an "extremely rare" certificate of discharge for him documenting his marine career.

Entry 14 in the document states that he was onboard the SS Minia as a joiner during the recovery of the bodies from the Titanic.

That item is expected to fetch £3,000. Others belonging to Smith that are to go under the hammer include his binoculars and woodworking tools. 

The auction house described the archive as "one of the most complete collections of material owned and collected by a Minia crewman".

Also on sale in Saturday's auction are two "unique" water stained pocket books, one of them the White Star Line's official list of sailings for 1912, both of which were found on the body of William Harrison, private secretary to Bruce Ismay, Chairman of the White Star Line. 

Harrison was one of the 1,157 people who died when the Titanic sank in the Atlantic after hitting an iceberg en route to New York. 

Another lot is a rare photo of the crew of the Minia taken during the recovery mission with the Rev Henry Ward Cunningham of St George's Church, Halifax, who accompanied them for the grim task. 

Items relating to the Titanic continue to generate huge interest, with a violin owned by the lead in the ship's orchestra selling for $1.4m at auction in 2013. 

At an auction the year before that, two menus from the Titanic sold for $140,000.