David Hayman explores the stories of four ships built on the River Clyde that helped forge links with countries throughout the world.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth - SS Athenia (1922) - Netflix
The SS Athenia was a steam turbine transatlantic passenger liner built in Glasgow in 1923 for the Anchor-Donaldson Line, which later became the Donaldson Atlantic Line. She worked between the United Kingdom and the east coast of Canada until September 1939, when a torpedo from a German submarine sank her in the Western Approaches. The Athenia was the first UK ship to be sunk by Germany during World War II, and the incident accounted for the Donaldson Line's greatest single loss of life at sea. 117 civilian passengers and crew were killed with the sinking condemned as a war crime. The dead included 28 US citizens, leading Germany to fear that the US might react by joining the war on the side of the UK and France. Wartime German authorities denied that one of their vessels had sunk the ship, and a German admission of responsibility did not come until 1946. She was the second Donaldson ship of that name to be torpedoed and sunk off Inishtrahull by a German submarine; the earlier Athenia was similarly attacked in 1918.
Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth - Memorials - Netflix
The lost British members of Athenia's crew are commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial in London. Canadian crew who died are listed at the Halifax Memorial (Sailor's Memorial) at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia as well as by special plaque for Hannah Baird, a Canadian stewardess who died in the sinking and who is commemorated in a memorial to female merchant mariners in Langford, British Columbia.
Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth - References - Netflix