SS MENDI – 100 YEARS
Photo Display At The Naval Museum
African Naval Museum in Simon’s Town will display a
series of historic photographs and documents, dating
back a hundred years, to commemorate and remember one of
the sad events of World War I. The troopship SS Mendi
which left Cape Town on 16 January 1917, was carrying a
large contingent of black troops destined for France to
assist the Allied war effort in Europe. While on the
last leg of her voyage to Le Havre in France the Mendi
was hit by another ship, the SS Darro and in the early
morning hours of 21 February 1917, 607 black troops
along with 9 fellow white countrymen and 33 crewmen
perished in the icy cold waters of the English Channel.
photos and documents were obtained from the Imperial War
Museum in London and the Cape Archives to show the men
of the South African Native Labour Corps at work in
distant France. Over 21 000 men of the SANLC served
A group of SANLC men in France circa 1917
Naval Museum is open daily from 09:30 – 15:30.
free of charge.