21/2/1917 The loss of the SS Mendi

Allied shipping is under continuous danger of attack by German U-boats. However ships also face another danger: each other. In the early hours of the morning the Mendi, a British steamer carrying men from the South African Native Labour Corps is sailing through thick fog in the Channel when it is accidentally rammed by the much larger Darro, a British cargo ship. The Mendi sinks quickly.

Although damaged, the Darro remains afloat, but her captain, Henry Stump, has her sail away as quickly as possible. She does not assist the survivors of the Mendi. The Brisk, a British destroyer, manages to rescue around 200 of the South Africans, but the loss of life from the incident is considerable. All 30 of the Mendi‘s crew lose their lives, as do 616 of the South Africans.

image source:

The Mendi in happier days (Wikipedia)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.