The UK has gifted the bell from First World War ship the SS Mendi to the Republic of South Africa, where it holds cultural and historical value.


Prime Minister Theresa May presented the bell to South African president Cyril Ramaphosa as an example of the shared heritage that underpins the close relationship between the two nations.

The sinking of the SS Mendi in the English Channel on 21 February 1917, a disaster that resulted in the loss of 616 South Africans, is a significant historical moment in the country’s history. It is commemorated by South African Armed Forces Day held on the date of the disaster and commonly referred to as Mendi day.

Published 28 August 2018