SS Birkenhead

For all discussions relating to the Seventh, Eigth and Nineth Cape Frontier Wars fought between 1846 and 1878.

SS Birkenhead

Postby The Scorer » 01 Nov 2012 21:06

I recently visited Bury St Edmunds to go to (among other places) the Suffolk Regiment Museum.

The Museum (and the associated collection at Moyses Hall Museum) is very good, and I enjoyed my visit to both. While I was there, I also visited the Regimental Chapel in St Mary's Church. As well as colours and the usual memorial plaques , there is also a memorial to the soldiers of the 12th Regiment who died when the SS Birkenhead was wrecked near the Cape of Good Hope on the way to the Kaffir Wars in 1852. This was the incident which gave rise to the tradition of "Women and Children First" as the troops were ordered to remain at attention whilst they were saved.

Here's a link to the full story of the ship:

The Church is open daily between 09.00 and 16.00 (10.00 to 15.00 in winter); telephone (01284) 754680. It's well worth a visit if you're in the area.

The Scorer
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Re: SS Birkenhead

Postby Keith Smith » 08 Nov 2012 23:10

I devote a number of pages to the loss of the 'Birkenhead' in my book on the Eighth Frontier War, Harry Smith's Last Throw. The incident is quite remarkable and is well-worth looking into. Readers of my book will find plenty of references to further reading on the subject.

Keith Smith
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