Jessie Lowe (Jessie Makay) a nurse/stewardess on the Athenia?

Hi there,

I don't know if the following is of any interest and I am trying to locate any info about a member of the crew. I have recently found out from my cousin who lives in the Highlands of Scotland, UK, that my uncle's mother was a nurse/stewardess on the Athenia. Her name was Jessie Lowe or she may have used her maiden name of Jessie Makay.

As I understand she was in one of the lifeboats, and being the daughter of a ferryman, she knew how to row. She headed the boat in the direction of distant lights. These lights turned out to be Ireland. The boat arrived safely in Ireland . I know Jessie recovered from her ordeal and I believe she went back to being on a cruise liner. My uncle, who is now deceased was brought up by another family member and so he knew very little of his birth mother. Hope someone can help and thanks for reading this.

Christine Hay


Thank you for your message, but I am sorry, Athenia was torpedoed about 250 miles north west of Ireland.

HMS Electra (Lt.Cdr. S.A. Buss, RN) and HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN) together pick up 481 survivors from the British passenger ship Athenia which was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-30 about 250 nautical miles west of Inishtrahull in position 56º44'N, 14º05'W.

There is no way anyone could see the lights of Ireland from that distance, and rowing that far is very unlikely.

I cannot find any details for Jessie Lowe or Jessie Makay.


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