Friday, 9 October 2009

SS Mendi and the SA Native Labour Corps

Some of you might have seen the story of the sinking of the SS Mendi and the survey of her wreck by Wessex Archaeology in the March/April 2008 edition of British Archaeology. It is one of those stories which brings home what the words "World War" really mean, but which, until recently, has been scarcely known in the UK, unlike in South Africa where the men of the Mendi are remembered and celebrated. It is the Black South African equivalent of the Sinking of the Birkenhead.

Southampton City Museums Archaeological Society are hosting a talk about the SS Mendi and the South African Native Labour Corps this Tuesday 13 October as part of their Black History Month programme, so if you have any interest in World War One, Black History, Maritime Archaeology, Forgotten and Overlooked Histories, or just want to find out more about a resonant and tragic episode do and you are able to be in Southampton on Tuesday evening do try to get along to St. Joseph's Hall.
to St. Joseph's Hall.

The details...
13th October 2009
John Gribble

‘The wreck of the Mendi and the SA Native Labour Corps: A Forgotten History’
The lecture will tell the story of the sinking of the Mendi off the Isle of Wight in February 1917 whilst she was carrying black South African labourers to France. The lecture will use the wreck of the Mendi to highlight the forgotten history of the South African Native Labour Corps (to which those aboard belonged), the Foreign Labour corps, and the larger British Labour Corps and will discuss some of the background issues to the formation and history of the SANLC.

Lectures are free to members and £2 per visitor. All lectures will take place in St. Joseph's Hall, unless otherwise stated, and start at 7.30pm (and generally finish by 9.00pm). Tea and coffee is served from 7.00pm. Please join us after the talk in The Duke of Wellington pub.

For further information e-mail or phone: 0781 285 1095

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