Memorial Built for Victims of HMS Birkenhead

Posted by Michelle Howard
Friday, March 07, 2014

A memorial has been unveiled in Birkenhead (Wirral, Liverpool City Region, United Kingdom) dedicated to the victims of one of the worst maritime disasters of the 19th century.



HMS Birkenhead, a steam frigate built by John Laird’s shipbuilders in Birkenhead, sank off the coast of Gansbaai, South Africa on February 26, 1852. Out of 638 people onboard, only 193 survived. Many victims were taken by sharks.  The tragedy was the first occasion when troops were ordered to stand fast and the protocol of women and children first was used. As a result, all women and children aboard the vessel survived. The action became famous as the Birkenhead Drill through-out the British Empire, capturing a spirit of Britishness, and was used when RMS Titantic sank in 1912. The phrase was also used by Rudyard Kipling in his poem A Soldier An’ Sailor Too, which was read at the memorial service.


The memorial was unveiled on Woodside Promenade, Birkenhead, by the Mayor of Wirral Cllr Dave Mitchell and the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead. They laid commemorative wreaths as did representatives of the Armed Forces. Pebbles from Gansbaai beach, where the survivors swam ashore, surround the memorial which consists of three steel panels.


The memorial was designed through a competition organised and judged by Cammell Laird shipyard, Andy Liston of New Brighton Lifeboat Station and Wirral Council. The winning design was submitted by Jemma Twigg of Birkenhead Sixth Form College.



The memorial was then created by Cammell Laird’s apprentices with materials donated and costs met by Cammell Laird.
 


Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret CBE said the company is immensely proud to build the memorial.



“This is a very powerful initiative that the company immediately wanted to support given our connection to HMS Birkenhead,” he said. “It is very fitting that the tragic story of the ship, and the origins of ‘women and children’ first, should be remembered in the form of such a striking memorial on Merseyside for future generations.  



“It is important that our apprentices understand the long history of Cammell Laird and what happened to many of the ships built here, some of which, like HMS Birkenhead, became very famous for what they did or what happened to them. This memorial helps ensure even after more than 160 years that the heroism and courage of the men that day is not forgotten.”  



The Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Dave Mitchell said: “This memorial is dedicated to those who lost their lives off the coast of South Africa 162 years ago. I am particularly honoured to be able to welcome our Armed Forces to remember this event, and to bring together the people of Wirral and South Africa in a spirit of friendship and solidarity.



“The memorial will take its place alongside Wirral’s other important monuments to the fallen, including those at Hamilton Square and Woodside Promenade along with the wider Wirral community.”


 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

World’s 1st LNG Hybrid Barge Christened "Hummel"

The world’s first LNG hybrid barge of Becker Marine Systems was christened with the name "Hummel" on October 18, 2014, at Grasbrook Quay in HafenCity Hamburg.

Shadrin is D.G. of Gazprom Investholding

On October 13 the Gazprom leadership acceded to Alisher Usmanov's request for releasing him from his position as Director General of Gazprom Investholding. At the meeting Alexey Miller,

A2SEA Signs for Dudgeon

Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited has awarded the Charter for WTG transport and installation to A2SEA A/S. A2SEA shall provide the jack-up vessel Sea Installer

Shipbuilding

World’s 1st LNG Hybrid Barge Christened "Hummel"

The world’s first LNG hybrid barge of Becker Marine Systems was christened with the name "Hummel" on October 18, 2014, at Grasbrook Quay in HafenCity Hamburg.

NSPR Set to Reduce Weld Distortion

Since weld distortion is a very costly problem for U.S. shipyards, the National Shipbuidling Research Program (NSRP) has embarked on a project to reduce weld

KBR, Daewoo win Eni FLNG FEED

KBR Inc. announced today that the KD Consortium, consisting of KBR and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company, Ltd, has been awarded a front end engineering

Passenger Vessels

Obama Appoints Ebola 'Czar'; Texas Health Worker Isolated on Ship

President Barack Obama appointed a former White House adviser as U.S. Ebola "czar" on Friday as the global death toll from the disease that has hit mostly three

Kiel's 2014 Cruise Shipping Season Ends

Expanded terminal capacities created at Berth 1 This year’s cruise shipping season in Kiel closes on the evening of October 18 when the AIDAcara sets sail for the Canary Islands.

Ferry Vital Link for Island off Taiwan

Nearly 13,000 people inhabit the four-by-two-kilometer Linqiu Island located about 7.5 nautical miles southwest of the Donggang on the main island of Taiwan. Primarily fishermen,

Casualties

Saudi Oil Pipeline Set Alight

A "limited fire" broke out on a subsidiary oil pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday after assailants fired shots at a security patrol, the state news agency SPA said.

Hurricane Gonzalo Knocks out Bermuda Power

Power was knocked out to 80 percent of Bermuda's electricity grid due to Hurricane Gonzalo, the island's only power company, Bermuda Electric Light Co., said on Friday evening.

USCG Rescue Two from Their Diabled Sailboats

The Coast Guard rescued two people Friday after both of their sailboats became disabled approximately five miles west of the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel near Hampton.

News

Saudi Oil Pipeline Set Alight

A "limited fire" broke out on a subsidiary oil pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday after assailants fired shots at a security patrol, the state news agency SPA said.

Maduro Says Venezuela's 2015 Budget to Put Oil at $60

Venezuela's 2015 budget will be based on a target oil price of $60 dollars per barrel, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday night, but he repeated expectations that prices will recover.

Long Beach Port Adds ‘Free Time’ for Cargo to Ease Congestion

The Port of Long Beach will add an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge, in order to grant some

Vessels

World’s 1st LNG Hybrid Barge Christened "Hummel"

The world’s first LNG hybrid barge of Becker Marine Systems was christened with the name "Hummel" on October 18, 2014, at Grasbrook Quay in HafenCity Hamburg.

Vancouver Welcomes Bulker on Her Maiden Voyage

The Port of Vancouver USA welcomed the M/V Jobst Oldendorff, commanded by Capt. Baisie of Ghana, on her maiden voyage October 16. Capt. Baisie and his 21-member

US Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Detroit

The Navy will christen littoral combat ship (LCS) Detroit, on Oct. 18 during a ceremony at Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3537 sec (3 req/sec)