Big Ideas Community Interest Company launched The Unremembered: World War One's Army of Workers on the centenary of the sinking of the SS Mendi – which saw the loss over 600 men of the 5th Battalion the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLC) and 30 crew members. The tragedy was among South Africa’s greatest losses in the First World War and one of the largest ever maritime disasters in English waters.
To mark the centenary, Big Ideas invited the public to join them at the steps of the Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday 17 February for a unique commemorative event. St John’s Cathedral Catholic Primary School, Chichester Community Choir and a singing group from South African Diaspora UK held up high the individual names of the men that died 100 years ago as the SS Mendi sank, and sang the South African song Lizalis idinga lakho, which was sung by the men as the ship sank.
The event sees the launch of a resource pack for local communities and schools in which there will be opportunities to learn about the history of the Labour Corps, find local stories and participate in activities. The resource pack will be accompanied by monthly releases about Labour Corps from different countries around the world. The Unremembered is funded by Department for Communities and Local Government.
Find out more at http://www.theunremembered.org or join in the conversation with #Unremembered.