I lived in Accra as a young boy from the age of eight until I was 14. My father, a British army warrant officer in the Army Physical Training Corps, was posted to what was then still the Gold Coast from 1946 until 1953. The posting was originally for one tour of only 18 months, but my parents loved the life and the environment so much that my father managed to persuade the army to let him carry on for another three tours, making six years in total, interspersed by compulsory three-month breaks in the United Kingdom.

My father went ahead of my mother, my younger brother Peter and I, and sailed to Accra by troopship. It was the normal procedure for families to arrive later once accommodation had been organised.

We sailed from Liverpool on 14 June 1947 on the troopship