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Welcome to the Athenia (1923) Website


Athenia (1923) was torpedoed on the very day that France and Great Britain declared war on Germany - 3 September 1939. She was the second ship of this name owned by Donaldson Brothers and will be referred to simply as Athenia in the remainder of the website as to do otherwise would be tedious.

Many books and column-inches have been written about the sinking of Athenia and now it is easy to find out what happened to her with a fair degree of accuracy by looking at a website like Wikipedia. There is no point in my simply rehashing this kind of presentation - instead I have attempted to show how events appeared to the general public at the time through the use of contemporary media coverage - the only source of information available to them. Most of my sources are from the UK and I would greatly appreciate being contacted by anyone having access to similar material in non-UK newspapers at the email address shown below.

Athenia came to my attention as a result of an approach for information from Govan High School which celebrated its centenary in 2010. A student of the school had been a member of her crew and was killed when she was sunk. I was expecting to respond with a one-page history but, as my enquiries progressed, I realised that I would need to create a separate website to do justice to the ship and the events surrounding her loss. The material covers four pages - click the links at the top of the page to access them.


Logo I am pleased to announce that the Athenia (1923) website is now included in the UK Web Archive ensuring its availability after the site owner has moved on to a better place - or none as the case may be. The web archive, which includes a large number of sites, can be accessed by clicking the logo.

Website Owner: Brian Watson - Click here to email me
Site Last Updated: 31 August 2015: Additional photo and press cutting added.
Copyright: Most of the photos on this site are old and believed to be out of copyright but please see the Copyright page for more information.

SeaTheShips This site is proud to be associated with SeaTheShips - a free-to-use site dedicated to all things nautical and run on a non-commercial basis by professionals and enthusiasts. Membership is free and, after joining, you will have access to many forums and a large photographic gallery.

Click the SeaTheShips Logo in this box for further information.