She

She is tall
Slim, easy on the eye
Her contours are supremely designed
She is elegant with pride and quality
She is beautiful from bow to stern
She is the tea clipper, ‘Cutty Sark’

HMS Victory, flag ship of Nelson at Trafalgar
She was a man of war
100 guns and more
First rate ship of the line
Laid down in 1759
Built from thousands of oak trees
She was sublime

RMS Titanic, Olympic and Britannic
Sisters all with destinies unknown
She was the White Star Line pride
Titanic, was the largest ship of her day
Her sinking costing so many lives

Like the Titanic sisters
The three Mersey ferries are sisters
Mountwood being famous for
‘Ferry cross the Mersey’
Today renamed Snowdrop
She is small and dumpy
But fulfils her roll of passenger ferry
Along with her two sisters
In the year of 1872

She’s found drifting off the Azores in the Atlantic
Abandoned by crew and passengers
The only lifeboat missing, and all supplies intact
This merchant brigantine ‘Marie Celeste’
Today known as the ghost ship
Of the Arthur Conan Doyle story chest

She was a 1900 ton two paddle steam frigate
One of the first iron-built
Captained by R Salmond
She left England for South Africa in 1852
Along with women and children

The Regiments of Fusiliers, Highlanders, Lancers,
Foresters, Rifles and Green Jackets
In all 634 souls
Off the coast of South Africa
She hit an underwater outcrop known as danger point
Sinking within twenty minutes

Soldiers are ordered to stand fast
Allowing women and children to board lifeboats
Four hundred and forty lives lost
The soldiers’ chivalry gave rise to the order
“Women and children first”

‘To stand and be still
to the Birken’ead drill
is a damn tough bullet to chew’
Rudyard Kipling 1893

She was
HMS Birkenhead

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