Great War coastal grave robberies made right

Authorities in the UK are getting it done when it comes to those illegally salvaging trophies from war graves offshore.

Last month, the bell of the SS Mendi was presented to the President of South Africa by the Prime Minister Theresa May at a ceremony in Cape Town. Mendi, a 4,000-ton steamship of the British and African Steam Navigation Company, was requisitioned for WWI service and never made it back home.

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 of the 5th Battalion of the Native Labour Corps. In a terrible twist, her bell was looted by persons unknown from the wreck and in 2017 given to a BBC reporter who turned it over to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. After a year on display in England, it was repatriated to South Africa.

Another example, that of the two props from the Kaiserliche Marine coastal minelaying U-boat SM UC-75, which was sent to the bottom after she was rammed and sunk by the RN destroyer HMS Fairy, 31 May 1918, concluded last week. The props, reported by the BBC as found in a storage unit in Bangor, Gwynedd, a year ago and thought destined for the scrap metal trade, will go to the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth while and one back home to Germany.

The returned propeller was handed to German naval attaché CPT Matthias Schmidt by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s chief executive, VADM Sir Alan Massey, in London.

“It’s not a case of ‘finders’ keepers’ and all recoveries of wreck material must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck so that legal owners can be given an opportunity of having their property returned and museums and other institutions can be given an opportunity to acquire artifacts of historic significance,” the MCA’s receiver of wrecks, Alison Kentuck.

Tags: , , ,

About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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.

The Writer in Black

News and views from The Writer in Black

Stephen Taylor WW2 Relic Hunter

World War 2 Historian, Relic Hunter and expert in identification of WW2 relics

USS Gerald R. Ford

Mission Ready, Qualified & Competent, On Time Execution!

The Unwritten Record

Exploring History with the National Archives Special Media Division

Stuff From Hsoi

Writing about whatever interests me, and maybe you.

Louisville Gun

Thoughts and Musings on Gun Control & Crime

Ted Campbell's Point of View

An old soldier's blog, mostly about Conservative politics and our national defence and whatever else might interest me on any given day

CIVILIAN GUNFIGHTER

Identifying the Best Training, Tools, and Tactics for the Armed Civilian!

MountainGuerrilla

Nous Defions!

Under Every Leaf.

A Site for the British Empire 1860-1913

JULESWINGS

Military wings and things

Western Rifle Shooters Association

In the absence of anything else to do, go do standing snaps. Learn your distance limitations, then improve them.

Meccanica Mekaniikka Mecanică

The Mechanix of Auto, Aviation, Military...pert near anything I feel relates to mechanical things, places, events or whatever I happen to like. Even non-mechanical artsy-fartsy stuff.

Eatgrueldog

Where misinformation stops and you are force fed the truth III

The LBM Blogger

Make Big Noise

%d bloggers like this: