Project launched for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi

February 23, 2017

Tuesday 21st February was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi off the Isle of Wight. In one of the UK’s biggest ever maritime disasters, 616 members of the South African Native Labour Corps and 30 crew members lost their lives.

I am very pleased to see that the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Centenary of the Great War – Dr Andrew Murrison MP – has, on Saturday 18th February launched ‘The Unremembered: World War One’s Army of Workers’. The launch took place in Portsmouth in the presence of the South African High Commissioner.

This worthwhile project tells the neglected story of labourers from across the globe who served in the various theatres of the First World War. This includes the sinking of the SS Mendi.

I am very happy to recommend this exhibit. Information detailing the tragedy can be found at:, and details of the project can be found at: