SS Mendi

SS Mendi

On 21 February 1917, the 4,000-ton SS Mendi, carrying the last contingent of the South African Native Labour Corps bound for the Western Front, was struck by the much larger SS Darro, in thick fog off the Isle of Wight. On board Mendi were 802 black soldiers, 5 white officers, and 17 NCO's, as well as 89 crew and 56 military passengers. Mendi sank within 25 minutes and most of those on board drowned. The disaster claimed 646 lives in total. Most have no grave but the sea and are remembered at the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton. Nine men whose bodies were washed ashore are buried in Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth. There are also a few graves in other cemeteries in the UK, France, Denmark and the Netherlands. Memorials to the tragedy have also been built in South Africa – notably at Avalon Cemetery in Soweto and the University of Cape Town – and at the South African National Memorial at Delville Wood in France, where bronze reliefs depict the tragedy. For detailed information about the tragedy, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-39027882 , http://blog.cwgc.org/ss-mendi , http://allatsea.co.za/blog/the-loss-of-hmt-mendi/ , https://historicengland.org.uk/whats-new/first-world-war-home-front/what-we-already-know/sea/ssmendi/ and https://content.historicengland.org.uk/content/docs/education/explorer/ssmendi-we-die-like-brothers-education-resource-pack.pdf . There is also a book called "Troopship Mendi - The Black Titanic" by Nick Ward, based on six years of his research, published by the South African Naval Heritage Trust in Simons Town, and also held by Delville Wood museum on the Somme. This community remembers all those who were on board the Mendi when she sank. Currently all the SANLC men who died have been added, but there are still crew and survivors to add, and further details about the men. Please note that the spelling of names varies between the various sources used, so if you can't find a specific person please email me.

Created by: , Yvonne27542

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  • Profile picture for Charlie Malemutle

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9119 Private South African Native Labour Corps 4th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Charlie Payipeli Or Mpayipeli

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9249 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Squire Nodolo

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9772 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Alison Magagamela

    Died 1917

    South African Services 8356 Private South African Native Labour Corps 4th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Fishi Hlatshwayo

    Died 1917

    South African Services 11126 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for Ishmael Lefi

    Died 1917

    South African Services 11141 Private South African Native Labour Corps Medical Section

  • Profile picture for Windvogel Captain Maseko

    Died 1917

    South African Services 11071 Private South African Native Labour Corps Medical Section.

  • Profile picture for Moses Moshe

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9132 Private South African Native Labour Corps 4th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Charlie Thebeagae

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9753 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for Charlie Lesitja Or Lesitya

    Died 1917

    South African Services 10373 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for Charlie Quzula

    Died 1917

    South African Services 10928 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Johannes Kgana

    Died 1917

    South African Services 3703 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for Jim Murape

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9430 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Robert Makalima

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9288 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for George Masindi

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9237 Private South African Native Labour Corps 4th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Jameson Mashalie

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9411 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Bn

  • Profile picture for Olifas Ndingi

    Died 1917

    South African Services 8893 Private South African Native Labour Corps "B" Coy. 4th Bn.

  • Profile picture for John Kataza

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9686 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for Mongameli Zitonga

    Died 1917

    South African Services 8021 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for George Sekonyela

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9816 Lance Corporal South African Native Labour Corps "C" Coy. 5th Bn.