Athenia sinking, 1939, survivors

April 09, 2010

 Subject: Athenia sinking, 1939

I was wondering where I could get a passenger manifest for the liner Athenia for its final voyage in  September, 1939? My mother and grandmother were surviviors.

Chris Georgeson

Chris ,

If you give me the names of your Mother and Grandmother, I can search the lists I have to see if I have them listed. Although I have a number of lists of survivors from Athenia depending on where they were landed, I do not have a full manifest of all who boarded her.

See this report of records in UK:

Outward Bound Passenger Lists 1890-1960 are held in BT27 and gives information on passenger lists of people leaving the United Kingdom by sea kept by the Board of Trade's Commercial and Statistical Department and its successors.

There is also BT32 covering 1906-1951 Registers of passenger lists kept by the Board of Trade's  Commercial, Labour and Statistical Department and its successors.

Please note the PRO will not search their files for you, if you are unable to attend in person, they will give the names of independent researchers who will do it for an hourly fee (very expensive).

  Public Records Office,
  TW9 4DU,
  Tel. 020 8876 3444.

I do have a list of all who perished that fateful night in September of 1939, but that is not what you are



I found your Mother's name on a copy of the New York Times dated September 6 1939, and a copy is attached.

No mention of your Grand Mother but it is reasonable to assume that your Mother being landed at Gourock on the Clyde that your Grand Mother was also rescued and taken there too.

Those landed at Gourock were picked up by one of three British destroyers, Escort, Electra or Fame.

I have never been able to unearth a full list of those survivors picked up by these destroyers.

On another tack, in the Spring of 2011 a new Riverside Transport Museum will be opened at Glasgow, and it will carry an Athenia Gallery, you may well wish to coordinate your visit to UK with that opening as I am sure you would want to see this new display featuring the ill fated Athenia.

Best regards,

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