Annual SS Mendi commemoration

24 February 2020 | Story Staff writer. Photo Michael Hammond. Read time 2 min.
The annual SS Mendi memorial will take place on UCT’s lower campus on Sunday, 1 March.
The annual SS Mendi memorial will take place on UCT’s lower campus on Sunday, 1 March.

Students and staff of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and members of the public are invited to attend the annual SS Mendi memorial on Sunday, 1 March, at the site where 616 men spent their final night on South African soil.

The men represented the South African Native Labour Corps, which set up camp in tented barracks along Cecil Road on UCT’s lower campus before setting sail to Europe to lend support to the war effort.

Six hundred and sixteen perished when the ship sank on 21 February 1917.

Every year, the South African Gunners’ Association hosts its annual SS Mendi commemoration parade at the SS Mendi Memorial to honour the lives of those who died.

The South African Army Band will be in attendance on the day, and the public will have an opportunity to lay flowers following the wreath-laying ceremony by senior officers in the South African National Defence Force.

The event starts at 11:00. Residences in the area may be affected by traffic congestion.


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