After crossing the Equator and participating in some fun and games, the convoy of troop ships arrived at the Atlantic port of Dakar on Thursday 29 June 1916.
Coaling of the ships started and young local boys came to the ships selling fish and diving for coins. No shore leave was permitted. Guns were put in place on the Argyleshire and Marathon. Private Tuner noted in his diary that afternoon parade was cancelled due to the heat and at night many soldiers slept up on deck. Conditions were very unpleasant with the heat and coal dust thick in the humid air.
At Dakar the cruiser HMS Kent left the convoy which was then joined by the battleship Swiftsure for the last stage of the journey to England. The convoy departed Dakar late on 30th June in close formation and with lights out. Life belts now had to be worn everyday in case of submarine attack.
Photo: HMS Swiftsure (Private Collection)
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