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SS Mendi Memorial

The SS Mendi Memorial commemorates the lives of 646 people, most of them black South African troops, who died when the troopship “SS Mendi” sank after a collision with another British ship off the Isle of Wight on 21st February 1917.

The Mendi Memorial on UCT’s lower campus created by artist Madi Phala on the site of the tented barracks where the Mendi dead spent their last night on South African soil. Photo Michael Hammond.

When news of the calamity reached South Africa, the fact of Prime Minister Louis Botha and the entire House of Assembly rising in silent respect on 9 March was unprecedented – a token of regard seemingly reinforced only months later when King George V told SANLC ranks at Abbeville: “You are also part of my great armies fighting for the liberty and freedom of my subjects of all races and creeds throughout the empire.”

WHERE: 99 Cecil Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town 7700   INFO: UCT News   PHOTO: Michael Hammond.