The Birkenhead Drill

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a book that Jamie had left here when he and Dasha moved to Boston. I don’t ever recall hearing about the British H.M. Troopship Birkenhead though I am sure someone must have mentioned these heroes somewhere along the way.

The Birkenhead Drill, written by Douglas W. Phillips, is a story of bravery and heroism. In 1852, the Birkenhead foundered. More than 400 men chose to drown or be eaten alive by sharks rather than allow one woman or child to suffer.

In 1902, Great Britain commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the sinking of the Birkenhead with a celebration honoring the last few remaining survivors of the disaster. Several of their testimonies are included in this small book.

As stated on the back cover, “The heroism of these men not only established the maritime principle of ‘women and children first,’ but served to inspire generations of men and women to stand by the ancient Christian principles of heroic manhood.”


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