The Basenji Club of America African Stock Project

Project Library

Lady Helen Nutting

by Veronica Tudor-Williams

 The next attempt to establish Basenjis in England was made by Lady Helen Nutting in 1923. She was in the 
Sudan at the time, and became very fascinated by the little Zande dogs which she saw during her travels. Six of
them were later sent to her by Major L. N. Brown, who acquired them from natives west of Meridi, beyond the
Bahr-el-Gahazal region of Nile and between the rivers Ibba and Sueh, one of the most inaccessible parts of Central
Lady Helen kept these six Basenjis in Khartoum for some time and when leaving the Sudan decided to bring
them to England with her. It was a courageous decision and thoroughly deserved to succeed. A large travelling
crate with a covered top and wire sides was prepared, and they made the voyage to England on the top deck of
the ship. Although it was March, and the weather typically cold and windy from Marseilles to Tilbury, the dogs
suffered no ill-effects, and were all in perfect health when they landed in England with Lady Helen. Needless to
say, these rare dogs created an enormous amount of interest. They were placed in quarantine and everything was
done for their welfare, including distemper inoculations, then in the experimental stages. This pioneer effort ended
in tragedy as all the dogs became ill and died from the aftereffects of this injection.
Lady Helen was heart-broken at losing the dogs she had brought so carefully from Africa. But she has never
lost her interest in the breed and during the past years has done much to help and encourage those who succeed-
ed where she so unfortunately failed.

Lady Nutting with two of her imports.
Lady Helen Nutting arriving in England with two of her
imported dogs.

 Reprinted from
Basenjis: The Barkless Dog
by Veronica Tudor-Williams
Revised edition January 1954, p. 12. Illustration: Plate 2
Copyright © 1954 Veronica Tudor-Williams, All Rights Reserved.