With thanks to "Cdr Joe L" USCG- VMI 83. 26 Feb 1852: HMS BIRKENHEAD runs aground near Cape Town, South Africa. Aboard are 400 British soldiers headed to the Kaffir War and about 200 passengers. There were insufficient lifeboats for all aboard, so the senior British Army Officer ordered the soldiers to stand fast while the women and children were loaded aboard. No soldiers broke ranks and 193 passengers and crew survived. From this event and where 400 soldiers made the supreme sacrifice, was born the nautical tradition of "women and children first!"