SS Mendi was a British 4,222 GRT passenger steamship that was built in 1905 and sunk with great loss of life in 1917. In 1916 during the First World War the UK Admiralty chartered her as a troopship. On 21 February 1917 a large cargo steamship, Darro, collided with her in the English Channel south of the Isle of Wight. Mendi sank killing 646 people, most of whom were black South African troops. The sinking was a major loss of life for the South African military, and was one of the 20th century's worst maritime disasters in UK waters.