'The Birkenhead Drill'

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HMS Birkenhead struggled in vain.
A rock she struck, in waters tame.
A rock in calm waters, not in view.
Before too long she was torn in 2

Damaged too great was the ship.
A losing fight with the waters grip.
But on final piece of floating stern.
Soldiers stood, disciplined and firm.

In the chaos that reigned all about.
To a man, they carried all orders out.
Woman and children to safety led.
Lowered into cutters, away they fled.

And from that day on all perilous sea.
'The Birkenhead Drill' it came to be.
If danger appeared on the ocean high.
'Woman and children first' now the cry.



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