It was a John Laird built 210 foot iron hulled paddle wheel British Government Troopship, carrying elements of the 74th Foot (Later 2nd Battalion HLI) as well as several other regiments, including the 91st Foot, the 43rd Foot, the 60th Rifles, the 93rd Foot, the 6th Foot, 12th Foot, 45th Foot, 73rd Foot, Royal Marines, 12th Lancers, and the 2nd Foot (Later the West Surreys). This was the origin of that famous phrase, as well as the inspiration of the Kipling poem about the incident. Of the total of about 645 souls on board, only 193 survived- many lost to shark attack. The plaque on which the deck light is mounted was presented in 1958 to Captain W. Royal Naval Reserve, a famous sailor in his own right, author of books and numerous articles, and significant in both WWI and WW2 in the British Merchant Marine, whose great-great grandfather died in the sinking. It was presented in Durban, South Africa by the Society of Master Mariners. It had apparently been found during a series of dives that year looking for gold in the wreck. The plaque is substantial, weigh nearly 8 pounds. It is handsomely made of a nice dark wood, possibly teak, with nickled brass mounts. The glass is a jade green color, with barnacles still attached. It is 8 1/4 by 11 1/4 inches, and more than an inch thick. Relics of the Birkenhead are rarer than those from the Titanic, and it is noteworthy that the sinking led to one of the best-known phrases in the English language, as well as the concept of a “Birkenhead Drill” being an act of desperate courage. Exceptions must be by. The item “HMS BIRKENHEAD 1852 SALVAGED DECKLIGHT WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST! OFF S. AFRICA” is in sale since Friday, April 14, 2017. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Militaria\1784-1860\Original Period Items”. The seller is “gallowglass” and is located in Sacramento, California. This item can be shipped to United States, all countries in Europe, Canada, Australia.
- Country/Region of Manufacture: United Kingdom