SS MENDI MEMORIAL

Avalon Cemetery, Soweto

The SS Mendi was a troopship sunk off the Isle of Wight in 1917 transporting members of the South African Native Labour Corp to serve in France during World War 1.  Mayat Hart has been appointed to upgrade the existing SS Mendi Memorial in Avalon Cemetery in Soweto commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the ship.

The concept for the new memorial is to make it more than just a list of names and a site for the annual commemoration of the loss sinking of the SS Mendi.  The intention is to make it a place of education and memory, a place of solitude and contemplation, a landmark and site for gathering to celebrate and remember those who lost their lives as well as the valuable role played by all of the men of the South African Native Labour Corps during the First World War.  The memorial becomes a backdrop to all of these events, orientating people in the direction of the last resting place of the SS Mendi.