Screenwriter Brenda Shepherd’s historical novel, Men of the Mendi, is being launched on Wednesday at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in Central.
The Friends of the Art Museum is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 5pm and the launch will be immediately afterwards at 6pm.
Men of the Mendi is a tribute to the soldiers – black and white – who perished, as well as to those who continued on to the killing fields of France, after the troopship sank in the English Channel on February 21 1917.
The date of the disaster is now commemorated annually as Armed Forces Day in South Africa.
The book traces the lives of the men from their enlistment to the disaster off the Isle of Wight and the subsequent inquiry held in London.
The small band of survivors continued to France where they were dispersed to various sites to dig trenches, work in the quarries and offload ships.
Shepherd has based her book on fact, researched over several years in South Africa, England and France and it contains an accurate and comprehensive Roll of Honour that has been compiled from a variety of sources.
The book is published by 30 Degrees South.
Entrance is free and wine and juice will be served at the Art Museum at 1 Park Drive. RSVP on (041) 506-2000.