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SS Mendi Memorial Wall at The University of Cape Town
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This is the site where the SS Mendi Memorial wall is going to be.
It all started with the collection of the stone, Slate is to be used for the panels. It took 4 people to lift each panel!
Here is a copy of the drawings and layout of the panels for the SS Mendi Memorial Wall. By THOROLD ARCHITECTS cc
Here is the layout painted onto the stone ready for me to start the hand carving of each letter.
Carving by hand takes time, here is the progress after about 8 days from the start.
"Be quiet and calm, my countrymen. What is happening now is what you came to do...you are going to die, but that is what you came to do. Brothers, we are drilling the death drill. I, a Xhosa, say you are my brothers...Swazis, Pondos, Basotho...so let us die like brothers. We are the sons of Africa. Raise your war-cries, brothers, for though they made us leave our assegais in the kraal, our voices are left with our bodies."
REVEREND ISAAC WAUCHOPE DYOBHA A CHAPLAIN OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIVE LABOUR CORPS, IS REPORTED TO HAVE CALLED OUT THESE WORDS IN A LOUD VOICE TO CALM THE PANICKED MEN DURING THE TRAGIC SINKING OF THE SS MENDI ON 21 FEBRUARY 1917. THE SHIP SANK OFF THE ISLE OF WIGHT DURING WORLD WAR I WITH THE LOSS OF 646 LIVES, ONE OF THE GREATEST TRAGEDIES IN THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY. THE SS MENDI WAS TRANSPORTING 823 MEMBERS OF THE 5TH BATTALION, SOUTH AFRICAN NATIVE LABOUR CORPS, TO FRANCE IN EARLY 1917. THE MEN HAD BEEN ENCAMPED ON THE PLAYING FIELD IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THIS MEMORIAL (THEN THE ROSEBANK SHOWGROUND OVAL) IMMEDIATELY BEFORE MARCHING OFF TO EMBARK ON BOARD. THEY SAILED FROM CAPE TOWN TO PLYMOUTH, BEFORE PROCEEDING TOWARDS LE HAVRE. ON 21 FEBRUARY 1917 AT 5AM THE SS MENDI WAS STRUCK IN DENSE FOG AND CUT ALMOST IN HALF BY THE SS DARRO, A MUCH LARGER CARGO SHIP. 616 SOUTH AFRICANS (607 OF THEM BLACK TROOPS) PLUS 30 BRITISH CREW MEMBERS DIED IN THE DISASTER. THE MEN OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN LABOUR CORPS CAME FROM ALL OVER SOUTH AFRICA, BUT THE MAJORITY WERE FROM THE RURAL AREAS OF THE EASTERN CAPE. SOME MEN WERE KILLED OUTRIGHT IN THE COLLISION, AND SOME WERE TRAPPED BELOW DECKS. MANY HOWEVER GATHERED ON THE LISTING DECK OF THE MENDI. ORAL HISTORY RECORDS THAT THE MEN MET THEIR FATE WITH GREAT DIGNITY.
I had to build a platform the higher I carved, as the stone was too heavy to move around.
Then came the painting of each letter by hand.
One of the Roll of Honour panels, sealed and ready for installation.
Centre panel all sealed finished and ready for packing.
The installation of the 5 panels for the SS Mendi Memorial wall. Thank you to Pennisi Construction in the man power and helping with the installing of the panels by hand, each panel weighing around 200 Kg’s each.
© 2011 -  Stone 2 Stone All rights reserved. 
SS Mendi Memorial Wall at The University of Cape Town
                 Hosted by:
This is the site where the SS Mendi Memorial wall is going to be.
Here is a copy of the drawings and layout of the panels for the SS Mendi Memorial Wall. By THOROLD ARCHITECTS cc
Carving by hand takes time, here is the progress after about 8 days from the start.
"Be quiet and calm, my countrymen. What is happening now is what you came to do...you are going to die, but that is what you came to do. Brothers, we are drilling the death drill. I, a Xhosa, say you are my brothers...Swazis, Pondos, Basotho...so let us die like brothers. We are the sons of Africa. Raise your war-cries, brothers, for though they made us leave our assegais in the kraal, our voices are left with our bodies."
REVEREND ISAAC WAUCHOPE DYOBHA A CHAPLAIN OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIVE LABOUR CORPS, IS REPORTED TO HAVE CALLED OUT THESE WORDS IN A LOUD VOICE TO CALM THE PANICKED MEN DURING THE TRAGIC SINKING OF THE SS MENDI ON 21 FEBRUARY 1917. THE SHIP SANK OFF THE ISLE OF WIGHT DURING WORLD WAR I WITH THE LOSS OF 646 LIVES, ONE OF THE GREATEST TRAGEDIES IN THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY. THE SS MENDI WAS TRANSPORTING 823 MEMBERS OF THE 5TH BATTALION, SOUTH AFRICAN NATIVE LABOUR CORPS, TO FRANCE IN EARLY 1917. THE MEN HAD BEEN ENCAMPED ON THE PLAYING FIELD IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THIS MEMORIAL (THEN THE ROSEBANK SHOWGROUND OVAL) IMMEDIATELY BEFORE MARCHING OFF TO EMBARK ON BOARD. THEY SAILED FROM CAPE TOWN TO PLYMOUTH, BEFORE PROCEEDING TOWARDS LE HAVRE. ON 21 FEBRUARY 1917 AT 5AM THE SS MENDI WAS STRUCK IN DENSE FOG AND CUT ALMOST IN HALF BY THE SS DARRO, A MUCH LARGER CARGO SHIP. 616 SOUTH AFRICANS (607 OF THEM BLACK TROOPS) PLUS 30 BRITISH CREW MEMBERS DIED IN THE DISASTER. THE MEN OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN LABOUR CORPS CAME FROM ALL OVER SOUTH AFRICA, BUT THE MAJORITY WERE FROM THE RURAL AREAS OF THE EASTERN CAPE. SOME MEN WERE KILLED OUTRIGHT IN THE COLLISION, AND SOME WERE TRAPPED BELOW DECKS. MANY HOWEVER GATHERED ON THE LISTING DECK OF THE MENDI. ORAL HISTORY RECORDS THAT THE MEN MET THEIR FATE WITH GREAT DIGNITY.
I had to build a platform the higher I carved, as the stone was too heavy to move around.
Then came the painting of each letter by hand.
Centre panel all sealed finished and ready for packing.
The installation of the 5 panels for the SS Mendi Memorial wall. Thank you to Pennisi Construction in the man power and helping with the installing of the panels by hand, each panel weighing around 200 Kg’s each.