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Joseph Randolph Ackerly
(November 4, 1896 - June 4, 1967) U.K.


Writer and playwright


Joe was born in Herne Hill, London, the second son of Roger and Netta, brother to Nancy Ackerley, his father was a prosperous businessman, his mother an actress. He studied law at Cambridge University. While he was a young man in the Guards, he also had experience as a male prostitute.

In WWI he was wounded and taken prisoner; this experience became the basis for his only play, The Prisoner of War. There are not explicit gay references in the play, but it is obvious that two of the prisoner were homosexual. This play influenced other gay writers, especially E.M. Forster, thus began their life long friendship, one of the most important relationship for both of them.

His best known work is My Father and Myself. Forster arranged for Ackerly to go to India as a secretary to a rich maharajah, an openly gay man. That experienec was recorded as Hindoo Holiday: An Indian Journal.



  • The Prisoners of War (1925)


  • Hindoo Holiday: An Indian Journal (1932)
  • My Dog Tulip: Life with an Alsatian (1956)
  • We Think the World of You (1960)
  • Letters from Japan (1960)
  • My Father and Myself (1968)
  • Michael Dever & Other Poems (1972)
  • My Sister and Myself(1982)

Source: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, Routledge, London, 2001

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