Q1. What do you mean by Birkenhead drill?
What does Birkenhead drill mean today?
Ans. Birkenhead drill means today to stand and be still. Its main purpose is that the old, the weak, ladies and children first. The strong men should face the situation. This Birkenhead drill gives an account of bravery and discipline in the most trying situation.
Q2. What kind of people was being carried as passengers on the Birkenhead drill?
Ans. Young soldiers and their families were being carried toSouth Africaas it was troopship.
Q3. How did the Birkenhead come to be wrecked? Was any member of the crew to blame?
Ans. The Birkenhead got wrecked when it hit a hidden rock under the sea 64 km fromCape Towntwo times within ten minutes. No member of the crew was to blame because the hidden rock was not shown in any maps of the sea. No one knew about the location of this highly dangerous rock in the depths of the sea.
Q4. Why was the lifeboat accommodating for only 180 people after the collision with the rock?
Ans. The lifeboat accommodation was only for 180 people because most of the life boats on the ship got damaged or destroyed during the collision. Only three lifeboats with the capacity of sixty each remained usable.
Q5. Describe the behavior of the soldiers with the women and children escaped in the boats?
Ans. The men stood still and watched as the women and children were placed in the boats. The soldier obeyed their commander’s order “Women and Children first” and stood ready to go down with the sinking ship. Already half of the ship, the front half had sunk. The commander of the troops ordered them to stand on deck in proper drill order, and they obeyed him blindly. They stood still and only watched the women and children being the lowered in the boats. Soon after the women and children left the scene, the wrecked part of the ship sank into the water. The soldier and their captain exhibited supreme courage in their readiness to save women and children at the cost of their lives. They maintained perfect discipline when they knew the death was certain within minutes. They never thought or tried to jump into the tree lifeboats that could carry only 180 people, they carried out their commander’s order.
Q6. Describe one heroic action that took place after the Birkenhead went down.
Ans. After theBirkenheadwent down the commander showed great incomparable courage. He was hanging onto a part of the destroyed ship(wreckage) when he saw two young sailors struggling to save themselves in the water and the three stuck to it. When the commander found that the piece could not support all three of them he left it to the other two and then drowned. Thus, he scarified his life in the bravest manner.