HMS Birkenhead Memorial Plaque
Gansbaal, South Africa

The HMS Birkenhead Memorial Plaque located at the base of the Danger Point lighthouse near Gansbaal, South Africa. The plaque honours the hundreds of lives lost when HMS Birkenhead ran on the rocks Feb. 25, 1852 not far from the lighthouse stands. As the story goes, the lack of lifeboats being known to those on board, the gallant men stood by until the women and children had been embarked. This is supposedly where the axiom "Women and Children First" comes from.

Danger Point Lighthouse, built in 1895, forty-three years after the Birkenhead disaster. You can see the plaque, which was made in 1936, at the base of the lighthouse. Both photos were taken in Aug. of 1974.
(Photo courtesy of Steve Wood)
© 1974 Steve Wood all rights reserved

Page published May 18, 2020