This Day in History: 1857-07-10

The troop transport HMS Transit, carrying nearly 900 troops and crew including 2 full companies (117 officers and men) of the 59th Foot (later 2nd East Lancashires), runs onto an uncharted rock 6 miles off the island of Bangka, near Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). Within 10 minutes she is in a sinking condition, but her bow is held above water by the rock. The troops are ordered below to wait while the few boats are loaded with some essential provisions, then, under perfect discipline, they are first shuttle-ferried to a bare rocky reef 3 miles away. Finally, once all aboard the Transit have been rescued, they are ferried the rest of the way to the shore of Bangka Island, where they arrive with nothing but the clothes they stand up in.