Death At Danger Point

27th September 2012, 11:44
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.

Robert Hilton
27th September 2012, 12:27
Known as the "Birkenhead Drill."

Union Jack
27th September 2012, 16:54
Another excellent effort from Bud. Having visited the memorial and small cemetery at Danger Point several times, and having looked down the bearing marker on the memorial indicating where HM Troopship BIRKENHEAD struck amongst the numerous reefs stretching far offshore, it's very hard not to deeply moved at the thought of the scenes of unflinching bravery and dreadful devastation which occurred that night, all so vividly described by Bud.

Incidentally, on a slight point of detail, Lieutenant Colonel Seton commanded the 74th Highland Regiment rather than the Royal Highland Fusiliers, which only came into being on the amalgamation of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and the Highland Light Infantry in 1959, the latter itself having been formed in 1881 on the amalgamation of the 71st and 74th regiments.