The Steam Ship “Mendi” was built in 1905 and launched in the June of that year. She belonged to the British and African Steam Navigation Company which was managed by Elder Dempster Lines. Requisitioned as a troop ship during WW1 by the British Admiralty she sank on 21st February 1917.
At 05.00 a.m. on 21st February 1917, the Steam Ship “Mendi” collided in thick fog in the English Channel with the Royal Mail Packet Company’s Cargo Ship “Darro”. 646 lives were lost when the “Mendi” sank rapidly, being the smaller vessel. The dead were mostly South African Soldiers. WW1 Poet Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi wrote a poem about the disaster. “We will remember them…”