23rd September 1905

The Duke of Connaught visited Guernsey

Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught and brother of reigning monarch King Edward VII, arrived on Guernsey on 23 September 1905. As Inspector General of the Army, he had a number of official duties to perform, not least of which was to unveil the South African War Memorial in St Peter Port.

It had cost just shy of £600 to buy the land, and design, build and erect the memorial. Standing 5.7m (18ft 9in) tall, it was funded by public subscription and depicts two soldiers of the 1899 to 1902 war in South Africa. This campaign is sometimes also known as the Second Boer War.

One of the figures is lying wounded on the floor while his colleague stands over him. The figures are carved from marble and the plinth, which bears the names of the 45 Guernsey men who died in battle, is granite, cut from Vale quarry.

The memorial was designed by W Newbury.

The visit and unveiling

The spot where the Duke of Connaught stepped ashore from his steamer is now marked by a stone at St Peter Port harbour.

He gave a short speech, then inspected the various troops stationed on the island. With that done, he made his way up St Julian’s Avenue for the memorial’s unveiling.

He stayed on Guernsey for five days, which would now be almost unprecedented for a royal visit, and on each day inspected some aspect of the island’s military or its infrastructure, including Castle Cornet and Fort George.

On his final day – a Tuesday – he sailed to Alderney, and from there made his way back to the mainland.

Guernsey’s pubs had been allowed to stay open for an extra hour on the first day of the duke’s visit to celebrate his arrival. Where they usually closed at ten, this was extended to eleven by special ordnance (PDF).


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Other events that occured in September

Channel Television took to the air 1st
A Guernseyman cycled to Herm 2nd
Brecqhou was put up for sale 3rd
Renoir arrived on Guernsey to paint 4th
Ship sinks in St Sampson harbour 5th
The melon king died… long live the melon king 6th
Coronavirus returns to Guernsey 7th
HD Ferries makes its last crossing
6th Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment fought at the Somme 8th
Guernsey number plate sold for £240,000 9th
Guernsey hosted the second Island Games 10th
Major Guernsey employer Tektronix went public 11th
Guernsey was struck by a hurricane 12th
Schoolboys and teacher went missing off Sark 13th
Guernsey holidaymakers head home itching 14th
The title Baron de Saumarez was created 15th
Missing girl, Jetta, was found on Guernsey 16th
Archaeologists found a porpoise grave 17th
An Islander aircraft crashed in Guernsey 18th
Guernsey commando Hubert Nicolle died 19th
Guernsey and Jersey considered merging 20th
Occupation resister Winifred Green was deported 21st
The Devil’s Rock had its opening night 22nd
The Duke of Connaught visited Guernsey 23rd
Former bailiff Daniel de Lisle Brock died 24th
Occupation president Ambrose Sherwill died 25th
Trudy, Guernsey’s biggest ever import, was installed 26th
“Let em starve,” said Churchill 27th
A Guernsey planning dispute headed to Europe 28th
Herm tenant Major Peter Wood died 29th
Spotlight was broadcast for the first time 30th