Other Post Women and children first


Mi General
MI.Net Member
Feb 29, 2004
HMS Birkenhead sank off the coast of South Africa on 26th February 1852. This incident is widely believed to be the origin of the phrase women and children first. The ship was carrying 480 British troops and about 26 women and children. When the ship foundered the soldiers' commander Colonel Seton told them to 'Stand fast!' and allow the women and children to make use of the few lifeboats. Most of the soldiers and sailors on board were drowned or eaten by sharks, but all the women and children survived. The women and children first ethos was later called the 'Birkenhead Drill' and was celebrated in verse by Rudyard Kipling in his moral boosting work Soldier an’ Sailor Too:
To take your chance in the thick of a rush, with firing all about,
Is nothing so bad when you've cover to 'and, an' leave an' likin’ to shout;
But to stand an’ be still to the Birken’ead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew,
An’ they done it, the Jollies - 'Er Majesty’s Jollies - soldier an' sailor too!
Their work was done when it 'adn’t begun; they was younger nor me an' you;
Their choice it was plain between drownin' in 'eaps an' bein' mopped by the screw,
So they stood an' was still to the Birken'ead drill, soldier an' sailor too!
Nice one Droney (Y)
Hows you and the missus doing ?
thanks for asking Were both fine, how are you and the family, baby growing up fast?
LOL! not a baby anymore mate shes 10 this year with the cheek of a twenty year old (Y)

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