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 Sinking of the Birkenhead

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:03 pm

Doe's anyone know where I can get a crew list of those abroad the Birkenhead when it went down.
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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:19 pm

Hi Littehand

The following link is for the Survivors.
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CORPORAL WILLIAM SMITH was onboard and took part in the Zulu War with the Frontier Light Horse.
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:24 pm

Hi Littlehand

I have found a list for you, follow this link

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:36 pm

Mate. That was quick. Thanks for your help. much appricated..
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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:41 pm

You are most welcome :lol!:
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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:33 pm

Littlehand. You might find this usefull.

Survivors of the wreck of HM Troopship Birkenhead 50 years later

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:20 pm

Anyone interested in joining me in a diving expedition.


In January 1852, under the command of Captain Robert Salmond, the H.M.S.Birkenhead left Portsmouth conveying troops to the Third Kaffir War in South Africa. She picked up more soldiers at Queenstown, Ireland, and was also conveying some officers’ wives and families. In the late afternoon of 25 February 1852, the Birkenhead left Simon’s Bay near Cape Town with approximately 643 men, women, and children aboard, under instructions to reach its destination at Algoa Bay as quickly as possible. In order to make the best speed possible, Captain Salmond decided to hug the South African coast, setting a course
which was usually no more than three miles from the shore; using her paddle wheels she maintained a steady speed of 8.5 knots. At 2 a.m. the following morning, the Birkenhead struck an uncharted rock near Danger Point. The impact was so violent that the forward compartment of the lower troopdeck flooded instantly and over 100 soldiers were drowned in their hammocks.

The surviving officers and men assembled on deck, where Lieutenant Colonel Seton, 74th Foot, took charge of all military personnel and stressed the necessity of maintaining order and discipline to his officers. Distress rockets were fired, but therewas no assistance available. Sixty men were detailed to man the pumps, while the rest were drawn up to await orders. Poor maintenance and paint on the winches resulted in only a few of the ships’ lifeboats being launched; eventually two cutters and a gig were launched, onto which all the women and children were placed and rowed away for safety.

Only then did Captain Salmond order that those men who could swim should save themselves by swimming to the boats; Lieutenant Colonel Seton, however, recognising that rushing the lifeboats would risk swamping them and endangering the women and
children, ordered the men to stand fast. The soldiers did not move, even as the ship broke up barely twenty minutes after striking the rock. Some of the soldiers managed to swim the two miles to shore over the next twelve hours, often hanging on to pieces of the wreck to stay afloat; however, most either drowned or were eaten by sharks.The next morning the schooner Lioness discovered one of the cutters, and after saving the occupants of the second boat made her way to the scene of the disaster.

Arriving in the afternoon, she rescued as many people as possible. It was reported that of the 643 people aboard the
Birkenhead only 193 were saved. After the Birkenhead sank it was soon rumoured that she was carrying a military payroll of £240,000 in gold coins (about 3 tons in weight and around £30 million at today’s prices) which had been secretly stored in the ships’ powder-room before the final voyage. Despite numerous salvage attempts, from as early as 1854, no more than a few hundred gold coins, which appear to have been personal possessions, have been recovered. If the fabled hoard had existed, it would have been contained compactly in a few chests or boxes, all in the same place, and there is every possibility that it lays undiscovered to this day.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:26 am

Hi Littlehand
Its from this incident that the 'Women and children first' concept originated. The site of the wreck is just up the coast from my home, its been well dived over the years. It is however a designated grave site, meaning artifacts may not be removed.
Its also well guarded by miscelaneous Great Whites.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:31 pm

Hi littlehand

As my fund pot is empty :lol!: I could do with some of that £240,000 in gold coins :lol!:

Count me in Idea I will tell the wife that I have gone grave hunting :lol!:

Only a few Great Whites to fight off first Shocked
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:52 pm

Great whites, let's leave the coins there in the name of History.
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90th

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PostSubject: sinking of Birkenhead.   Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:35 am

hi all .
The late movie here last Sat night was Jaws 1 , with number 2 coming this Sat night . I have a few tricks
to counter the Great Whites , unfortunately , I cant SWIM , but happy to give directions from the bridge
off a big boat , LARGE BOAT . Does the USS NIMITZ ring any bells . :lol!: Where"s sas1 when we need
him. :lol!:
cheers 90th. :)
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:12 am

Can almost hear Bobby Darren..........."Oh that Shark has pretty teeth...........
Incidently some time back one of the members was asking about crocodiles in Natal. Between Durban and Pietermaritzburg there is a river called the Dusi, well used by canooists etc. They are busy right now trying to catch a 2 metre beast.
Regards
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90th

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PostSubject: sinking of Birkenhead.   Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:26 am

hi springbok9.
I asked a while ago about the crocs in Natal , are there many or just a few rogue"s swimming around.
cheers 90th.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:39 am

Hi 90th
There are quite a few around, mostly a bit more to the North than this one. Personally I check the bathwater first. :lol!:
Regards
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:38 am

90th. I did make an attempt to get the coins but give up for obvious reason. See photo of me below.

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90th

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PostSubject: sinking of Birkenhead.   Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:53 am

hi sas1.
You could have smiled for the camera , ruined a pefectly good holiday snap ! :lol!:
Bloody funny though !
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:28 pm

sas1

Seriously damaged my rib cage laughing, havent had such a laugh since yesterday at Newlands watching the barmy army frying in the 40 degrees heat.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:46 pm

Which ones you sas1. Idea
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Sinking of the Birkenhead   Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:41 pm

The photo is bogus. The helicopter is not real. !!!!
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