Nickolas Gash, Athenia survivor

SS Athenia Survivors

Hello, my name is Rion Seick and I am writing to inform you of more survivors of the SS Athenia sinking on Sept. 3, 1939. My grandfather, Nickolas Gash, his parents, and 3 sisters were on the ship when it was sunk. I was doing some research on the internet and found a list of those who died in that sinking and came across the name of Anna Gach, 13, schoolgirl, Polish. She was my grandfathers older sister and the only one of his family lost in the sinking. They changed their name to Gash in Canada which is the more English pronunication/spelling. Anna was also the one who spoke the best English and so such family records as my grandfathers actual birthdate is not known. We do know that he was 8 years old at the time of the sinking but the actual day of the year was lost. Both his other sisters and both parents survived. My great-grandfather was separated from the other four but reunited later in Canada. My grandfathers parents both passed away in the 80's but both his sisters are still alive. I do not know either of them well and so am not sure if they are older or younger than he. He is 76 now.

One of the stories I had always heard about the sinking was that the captain of the Athenia rescued his own daughter from the propeller of the sinking ship and turned back for Anna but was unable to save her. I found out from my research that the lifeboat she was on was struck by the propeller of the MS Knute Nelson and that is how she most likely died. This whole story has always been one of interest to my family, especially myself, and the more I can find out about it the better. I hope that this information is helpful and I am willing to give more as I get it or if you have any questions. I am also hoping to find out more about the sinking and the rescue effort, basically all that I can.  Thank you for your time and please feel free to ask any questions.

Rion Seick


Thank you for that, can you please give me the christian names for the other 4 family members other than Nickolas?

Do you know what ships picked up them all?

I do have Anna Gach listed on AHOY under the passengers who died list.

Does Nickolas have at this distance in time any recollections of the day Athenia sank, and his subsequent rescue?

I too am interested in turning up any detail of that fateful night and the crew and passengers rescue that I may find.

I am grateful for your time.

Mac. Gregory.

back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved