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little avail but for the high discipline, the ready obe. dience, the fortitude and self-control of the crew and passengers, and the clear head and firm will of the commander. The bulk of the passengers were invalid soldiers returning from the North-western provinces of India. Poor fellows! They met with but an unpleasing welcome on their arrival at hone.
They seem to have behaved as British soldiers always do behave on such emergencies--with as much coolness as though they had been on the parade-ground, with as much courage as though they had been in action on the field. Had they been a herd of emigrants or ordinary landsmen, there can be no doubt that an awful loss of life must have been the result. But here were three or four hundred men accustomed to obey orders, to act together, to do whatever they were told, or to do nothing, if they were directed to stand still.
“On reading the account of the burning of the 'Eastern Monarch' it is impossible not to be struck with various points of similarity between it and the dismal tale of the “Birkenhead.' The Birkenhead' story was the more awful one of the two, because the sufferers were so far removed from human help. We cannot, however, doubt that the men who did so well on Thursday morning last would have met a more terrible fate with equal courage. With death staring them in the face they rivalled the fortitude, the humanity, the discipline of their predecessors; why doubt, if the ship's planks had sunk beneath their feet, while the sharks were playing round them waiting for their food, that they too would have been true to the end ?
6 The Eastern Monarch' was a splendid ship, perhaps the foremost amongst the sailing ships which pags between the British Islands and the Indian shores. She had sailed from Kurrachee on the 22nd of February last, bringing home, as we have already stated, between three and four hundred invalid troops. She had touched at St. Helena, but the run between that island and the English coast had been prolonged, in consequence, at first, of light baffling breezes, and, finally, of the east wind, with which we have been so ong afflicted at home. The result was, that the ship ran short of provisions, and Captain Morriss resolved on anchoring at Spithead on his way up Channel to obtain some meat and vegetables. Well was it that he did so, for the accident, according to all human presumption, would equally have happened had he held on his course. It would then have been the story of the Amazon' over again-it may well be in a more appalling form. At 1.30 A.M. on Thursday last the ship brought up at Spithead, and the crew were employed, under the direction of the chief mate, in furling the sails. They were yet engaged in their task when a violent explosion was heard in the after part of the ship. The skylights on the poop were blown out, and the poop ladders were carried away. In a moment the whole decks were filled with a choking vapour, and then the flames burst out, running like wildfire along the decks. Ladies rushed on deck shrieking in their night-dresses. The officers on board sprang up as best they could. The troops leaped from their hammocks, and scarcely escaped death even then, so rapid was the progress of the flames. For a moment, and but for a moment, all was
confusion, and God have mercy on our souls!' Order, however, was soon restored, so powerful were the instincts and habits of discipline, even at such a time. The troops, under the orders of their officers, gathered on the fore part of the burning ship, and never, as we are told, were men more self-possessed, more ready in obedience, more cheerful in the
presence of impending death. The crew did their work quite as well. As soon as it became clear that it was impossible to arrest the progress of the flames the four boats belonging to the ship were lowered down, and the women and children were passed over the sides and placed in safety. There was not room for all of them. Presently two men-of-war's boats came along. side and the remainder of the women and children were passed down. Then, and not till then, the men began to look out for themselves, and in half an hour's time every one who could be found was got out of the ship. There must have been in all about five hundred human beings on board. The loss of life amounts to one woman and five children, who were killed or suffocated by the first explosion ; one soldier, who died from exhaustion after he was brought to shore, and one child. These facts taken together are eloquent enough, and spare us all necessity of descanting further on the real and courage of the gallant men concerned in this calamity. Captain Morriss had scarcely left the ship when the faming masts went by the board. The hull continued burning until mid-day, and last night some charred timbers were all that remained of the Eastern Monarch. The tradition of the gallantry of her crew and of the invalid soldiers on board will not pass away, and be forgotten."
The following General Order conveyed the Queen's thanks to the troops on board the Eastern Monarch:
“ Horse Guards, 9th July, 1859. “The General Commanding-in-chief has received from the Secretary of State for War, a report from the Board of Trade of the investigation held to inquire into the cause of the destruction by fire of the troop ship 'Eastern Monarch,' and having submitted the såme to the Queen, has much gratification in announcing to the officers and men who were on board that ship, and to the whole army, her Majesty's approbation of the discipline and good order displayed by them under such trying circumstances. The officers and men were principally invalids from India, and belonged to various regiments; but all behaved as British soldiers are wont to do in such perilous situations, and exhibited a gratifying proof of the good discipline and manly spirit of the army generally.
Throughout the eventful career of a soldier, there is no position in which he can be placed where fortitude, courage, and obedience can be more essential, or more conspicuous, than
such occasions as shipwreck or fire at sea. The display of those qualities, in the instance now adverted to, is most creditable, and does honour to Lieutenant-Colonel Allan of the Eightyfirst Regiment, in command, and to all the officers and soldiers who shared in that dreadful calamity. " By command of his Royal Highness, “The General Commanding-in-chief, “G. A. WETHERALL,