The "Birkenhead Drill"

6th June 2012, 13:10

Few of us....if really 'any' of us recall the "The Birkenhead Disaster"....which if you read up on the subject...still ranks as one of the world's worst shipwrecks, yet deserves to remain memorable if only for the value of its trend-setting attitude toward women and children.

Above you see a sketch of the HMS Birkenhead breaking up after running aground on jagged rocks at 'Danger Point' off South African coast while en route to quell a native revolt in 1852.

Now you would think that a ship 'going down' there would be nothing short of 'panic' with all onboard....well instead of 'panic', which most generally accompanied such disasters....the highly disciplined troops of the 74th Royal Highland Fusilliers stood at attention as they quietly drowned....their actions and self-sacrifice helped HMS Birkenhead's captain to coin the phrase "women and children into the boats first."

So...if you wish to read just a short version of this....[4 or 5 pages] can click: HERE ( to read the article: Death At Danger Point.
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Malky Glaister
6th June 2012, 13:42
Thanks for that, a most interesting story of which I knew nothing and I am from Birkenhead.



6th June 2012, 13:49
WOW!!!!! That is pretty dog-gone neat. But I'll have to add....there is many, many things in my city's history that I'm as dumb as a box of rocks your not alone in that regard.
Thanks for your comment........

Malky Glaister
6th June 2012, 15:22
There are many things about the place it's best not to know about Bud, believe me. I tried talking to my (now deceased) elderly relatives and got little or no info from them especially about the war, my Gran was bombed out of her home twice. Living near Lairds had it's dangers



6th June 2012, 16:56
Thanks Bud,

Another well researched and written article - would that our popular press were capable of such clarity of expression. Glad that you mentioned Kipling who, along with Robert Service must be the mariners favourite poets.

Keep em coming!!


6th June 2012, 17:06
Thanks Duncan.....always appreciate comments....good, as well as the bad....and I always welcome others opinions.....I just think it makes very interesting conversation.

Oh my, I got tons of articles in my archives...and I keep producing all the on a regular basis. I just like to research and write....oh yes the reader will fine some mistakes....but I'm just a 'hobby writer'...nothing serious....never sold any of these...and don't intend too in the future. That would take the fun out of it all as far as I'm concerned.

What I'd like to do is put the articles more in a "General" area on the site so many more of the readers that "may" be interested in the subject matter could be abreast of the articles....

Anyway....a lot more will in fact be coming the sites way.... I also have put a few of them in "the Navies...under the United States thread"