The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Sinking of the SS Britannia 1941

Article in World War II Database

The text of the article is as follows:

"25 March 1941M

German armed merchant cruise Thor sank British liner Britannia 750 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa.


203 crew and 281 passengers - See Note 1 - (Most of which were British military personnel) took to lifeboats.


Thor began to rescue the survivors, but after taking on only one man (see Note 2), Thor detected British radio transmissioins and fled the area before British warship arrived (which never came).

255 survivors of Britannia (see Note 1) would be lost."

Note 1

The database is in agreement with other sources of those on board:

203 Crew
281 Passengers
484 Total on board

but not 255 lost.

The War Record Card I saw at London's Guildhall gave the following breakdown:

203 Crew (Missing 122 - 118 lost)
281 Passengers (Missing 127 - 123 lost)
484 Total (Missing 249)

giving survivors as 235

Wikipedia uses 484 and 249. uses these figures and 122 and 127.

Note 2

The sole survivor picked up by the Thor was Prisoner of War Edwin M. Falconer, Deck Machinest

Colin Bower
24 July 2023

Link to:
Britannia Index

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