First Hand Accounts

This page is an index to a set of first hand accounts by survivors of the sinking and those involved in the rescue.

Many of these accounts were originally published amongst the Athenia pages of the website Ahoy - Mac's Web Log created by Mackenzie J. Gregory who sadly died in 2014. I have been unsuccessful in attempts to contact the inheritors of the website which is currently still online HERE. I wanted to ask their permission to republish the material related to Athenia so that it will not be lost to future generations. Mac is missed by many people, including myself, who exchanged information with him over many years. I am sure he would give this republication his blessing.

Author Overview
James Cook Athenia's Captain James Cook gave a statement to the Casualty and Statistical Section of the Trade Division on 26 September and it is reproduced here.
Barnett Copeland Athenia's Chief Engineer Barnet Mackenzie Copeland gave his account to the Casualty and Statistical Section of the Trade Division on 23 November 1939 and it is reproduced here.
Judith Evelyn Passenger Judith Evelyn was an actress who survived in the lifeboat that was sliced in two by the propellers of Knute Nelson and was brought ashore at Greenock in the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Escort
Philip and Andreana Gunyon Passenger Andreana Gunyon was emigrating to Canada with her son Philip while her husband was working in Brazil. They were rescued by HMS Electra and taken to Greenock.
Margaret and Jocelyn Hodge Passengers Margaret and Jocelyn Hodge were returning to Canada with their mother. The mother was lost and the sisters separated but reunited later.
Elizabeth and Margaret Orr Passenger Elizabeth Orr was travelling home to Calgary with her 18 month old daughter Margaret after visiting relatives in Scotland and was injured when Athenia was torpedoed and nearly thrown out of the lifeboat they were in when the davits failed. They were rescued by HMS Escort like Judith Evelyn.
Jack Taylor Jack Taylor was an Able Seaman serving on HMS Electra which was called to rescue survivors of Athenia. His account includes description of the preparations for war being made by the Royal Navy.
Rhoda Thomas Passenger Rhoda Thomas had returned to England to visit relatives after an absence of 17 years and had to cut her visit short to return to the USA on the advice of the US Consultate. He survived in a lifeboat and was rescued by Southern Cross and transferred to City of Flint to complete her journey to New York
Survivor Snippets This page has been creatred for snippets of information about survivors that have come to my attention but are not long enough to warrant separate pages and will be added to from time to time.