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Victor Hutley’s diary of the 1925 Royal Tour of Africa and South America. Part II: Accra

Posted by Rob Finch, on March 18th, 2019


When the Repulse reached Accra on the 13th April, sick-bay attendant Victor ‘‘Dick’’ Hutley was one of the fortunate thirty-five members of the Ships Company chosen to go ashore with HRH the Prince of Wales, to attend the Durbar of all the Chiefs of the Gold Coast at Accra Polo Club. Travelling first in the picket boat, then in surf boats which take the passenger as close as possible to the shore, they are finally seized and carried up on shore. Hutley describes the scenes at the Durbar where the Prince of Wales is greeted by each of the tribal chiefs, with their attendant witch doctors, and the Governor. After being entertained by the West African Traders in their bungalow, with abundant food and alcohol offered to the visiting sailors, Dick went back to the Accra races, before rejoining the ship and continuing down the coast. Unable to land at Lagos because of the plague on shore, the ship’s company, including HRH the Prince of Wales, partake in shark shooting instead. Dick also describes the luxury of cooling off in a large canvas bath erected on the upper deck, and listening to the ships jazz band entertaining the ships company.

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