The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117973   Message #2547050
Posted By: Charley Noble
23-Jan-09 - 11:23 AM
Thread Name: BS: Brits on Titanic die of niceness
Subject: RE: BS: Brits on Titanic die of niceness
Here's a poem by C. Fox Smith which commemorates the Birkenhead sinking that Terribus referenced:

The Loss Of The Birkenhead

Silent they stood upon that stranded wreck
    Fast on a hidden shoal,
Drawn up in line upon the leaning deck
    For their last muster-roll.
There was no wailing heard of wild affright,
    No cry of those who drown:
All silent, in the darkness of the night,
    The Birkenhead went down.

Many there were that hour who sank below,
    Drown'd in the dark cold brine,
Who ne'er had tried their worth against the foe,
    Nor stood in battle-line.
But bravely, truly, as in front of fight,
    Each won a hero's crown,
When the staunch Birkenhead at dead of night
    Off Danger Point went down.

Where lives the man dare say that all in vain
    Those hero lives were spent?
Ever their proud example shall remain
    A deathless monument.
Ever the tale of sacrifice shall shine
    In England's long renown,
How, strong and still, drawn up in steadfast line,
    Five hundred souls went down.


From THE FOREMOST TRAIL, by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Sampson Low, Marston & Co., London, UK, © 1899, pp. 30-31.

The "Birkenhead" was a British iron, paddle-wheel frigate of 1400 tons. On the 26th February, 1852, she struck a submerged rock off Danger Point, South Africa. The "Birkenhead" has secured a place in history due to the gallantry of her soldiers, who, in the face of great danger, allowed the women and children to escape in the boats before trying to save themselves. In the tragedy 445 People lost their lives. 193 people, including all the women and children, survived. This disaster is seen as the start of the naval tradition of "Women and Children First."

Charley Noble