Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day 2014

They shall grow not old, 
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.  

L Binyon

A group of black South Africans on the Western Front. These men had contracted to work in the South African Native Labour Contingent (SANLC). In general the native police and NCOs were recruited from tribal chiefs or high-status native families. Some 20,000 South Africans worked in the SANLC during the war. They were not meant to be in combat zones, but there were inevitable deaths when the docks or transport lines on which they worked were bombed. 

The greatest tragedy was the sinking of the troopship SS Mendi on February 21, 1917, when 617 members of the SANLC were drowned in the English Channel. http://altyn73.livejournal.com/570420.html


kaigs said...

Well stated Mole; never forget who you are or where you come from. There but for ....etc

Mole said...

The following was delivered by the Reverend Isaac Wauchope Dyobha as the SS Mendi went down.

"Be quiet and calm my countrymen, for what is taking place now is what you came here to do. We are all going to die, and that is what we came for. Brothers, we are drilling the death drill. I, a Zulu, say here and now that you are all my brothers... Xhosas, Swazis, Pondos, Basotho and all others, let us die like warriors. We are the sons of Africa. Raise your war cries my brothers, for though they made us leave our assegais back in the kraals, our voices are left with our bodies..."


“Trench dirt didn't always wash out, I am sure.”
― Sebastian Barry, On Canaan's Side

We remember the survivors too.