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 Silwanyana Mehlomane

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9242 Private South African Native Labour Corps 4th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Jack Moshimane

    Died 1917

    South African Services 10377 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Dick Mqitsha Ntshangase Or Mtshangase

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9914 Private South African Native Labour Corps "C" Coy. 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Konish Nyambana

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9636 Private South African Native Labour Corps "C" Coy. 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Jacob Tabudi

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9854 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for Arosi Zenzile

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9375 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Lukas Rampopo

    Died 1917

    South African Services 8996 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Picanin Resinali

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9625 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Sikaniso Mtolo

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9999 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Mbalela Ntshetsha

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9383 Lance Corporal South African Native Labour Corps "C" Coy. 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Kimberley Makeleni

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9688 Lance Corporal South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Jim Skip

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9428 Private South African Native Labour Corps "C" Coy. 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for William Mabitsela Or Mobitsela

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9775 Lance Corporal South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for Jeremiah Masaleni

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9927 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Jan Mangwana

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9162 Private South African Native Labour Corps 4th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Koza Mgingana

    Died 1917

    South African Services 11099 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Hlongwana Magudulwana

    Died 1917

    South African Services 11093 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Bn.

  • Profile picture for Sukwana Zwane

    Died 1917

    South African Services 11089 Private South African Native Labour Corps 5th Battalion

  • Profile picture for Aaron Rampomane

    Died 1917

    South African Services 11184 Private South African Native Labour Corps

  • Profile picture for Green Seodi

    Died 1917

    South African Services 9397 Lance Corporal South African Native Labour Corps