THERESA MAY RETURN WW1 SHIPWRECK’S BELL TO SA

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is visiting Cape Town on Tuesday, comes bearing a piece of South African history.

A massively important South Africa naval artefact today (Tuesday) comes home when President Cyril Ramaphosa accepts the SS Mendi ship’s bell from United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May.

According to the Department of international Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO), she will present the bell to the president, who is SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Commander-in-Chief, during a meeting in Cape Town. May is in South Africa as part of a five-day, three-nation African tour. She will also visit Kenya and Nigeria.

The SS Mendi in use as a troopship during World War One sank off the Isle of Wight in 1917 after a collision with the SS Darro. She was carrying SA Native Labour corps personnel to the Western Front where they were to support British troops. Six hundred and sixteen men died.

It is the worst naval disaster in South African military history and is remembered annually on Armed Forces Day – February 21 – the day Mendi went down. The tragedy is also remembered by dint of South Africa’s highest honour for bravery being named the Order of Mendi. One of the SA Navy’s four Valour Class frigates also bears the Mendi name in a further acknowledgement of this significant event in the country’s naval history.

A note in the bag read: “If I handed it in myself it might not go to the rightful place. This needs to be sorted out before I pass away as it could get lost”.

A senior serving South African officer who has some involvement with the Mendi tragedy said indications were the bell was found by a diver sometime in the eighties. It has been on display at Southampton’s Sea City Museum.

There has, as yet, been no indication from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) as to whether the bell will go on public display and where it will be housed.

Facebook Comments

About author

Oludare J. Olusan
Oludare J. Olusan 249 posts

Publisher, Entrepreneur, Author and founder of The African portal / Presenter at The African Portal Radio / TV

You might also like

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s impeachment rage, Bloomberg on coal

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s impeachment rage, Bloomberg on coal

ONE ON ONE DISCUSSION WITH ERON KIIZA, A YOUNG LAWYER FROM NTUNGAMO UGANDA THE AUTHOR OF “PREGNANT POEMS; A POET’S VIEW OF POLITICS AND LOVE”

Eron the Poet Eron Kiiza, remedy a young lawyer from Ntungamo has published an acclaimed piece of poetry titled PREGNANT POEMS which appears to critique the current political environment. In

International banks enabled Gupta corruption and looting, Peter Hain tells Zondo commission

Despite the warning signs in the public domain, international banks continued to turn a blind eye by doing business with the Gupta family, enabling them to conduct their affairs and “launder money around the world”, the state capture inquiry heard on Monday.Testifying before inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, British MP Lord Peter Hain…

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply