Birkenhead Drill is a story of extravagant deed of heroism and shvarism shown by the soldiers of British 963Army. The Birkenhead Drill was a troop ship, which come across with sudden accident which has brought a dramatic change in the life of soldiers.
Birkenhead Drill means Women and Children First is the order followed on all ships that are in danger. Birkenhead Drill means today to stand be still facing certain death so that the weaker ones may have a chance of life.
“Some people born great
Some people have greatness
Some people achieve greatness
We should make our lifes sublime”
Birkenhead Drill was a military ship. In February 1851, it was going to South Africa with troops and their families. There were a total of six hundred and thirty people on board out of which one hundred and seventy were women and children. The rest were inexperienced military men and officers. At 2 a.m. on 25th February, when this ship was near Cape Town, it strokes a massive rock that was not shown on any of the maps. This sudden jerk broke the ship into two pieces. The front half soon sank but the hind half stayed afloat. Most of the people manage to reach the rear part. There were only 3 lifeboats left undamaged with a capacity of 60 persons per boat. Only 180 people could be saved in this way. The others would draw because the damaged military ship could not float much longer. This situation should have caused a panic on the ship. Unlike other happenings, there was no panic or confusion in the boat. The trained soldiers managed complete discipline and were successful in transferring some women and children into the lifeboats. The captain and soldiers stood line by line as if they were on their daily drill. Every one was loyal to his duty and himself. A commander set an example by giving his life for two young soldiers. When the commander was hanging on to some piece of wood, he saw two young soldiers struggling in the water. He allowed them to hold on wreckage. But the commander realized that the wreckage could not bear the weight of the three persons so he let go his hold and went into the water for ever. Due to complete management of discipline, 194 people were saved but 436 men drowned forever in the deep waters. Moral The undiminished order of the soldiers presented in the article reflects the quality of sacrifice and devotion in mankind. We should stand till facing certain fate so that the weak ones may have a chance to live. This has been known as Birkenhead Drill since then.
“DUTY, THAT WHICH STERNLY IMPELS US IN THE DIRECTION OF PROFIT, ALONG THE LINE OF DESIRE.”