A wreath laying cum flag hoisting ceremony was organised, on Tuesday, at the Nationalism Park, Osu, to commemorate the 69th Anniversary of the shooting to death of three Ex-servicemen at the Christianborg Crossroads on February 28, 1948.
The three: Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey, were killed whilst their Regiment were going to present a petition to the then British Colonial Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Gold Coast Regiment, Sir Gerald Creasy.
Political analysts see the incident as having facilitated the attainment of Ghana’s independence.
The ex service men were members of the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Forces that fought alongside the Allied Forces during the Second World War.
The colonialists had demobilised them promising to resettle them but had reneged on the promise.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, laid a wreath on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, while Major General Obed Akwa, the Acting Chief of Defense Staff, laid one on behalf of the security services.
The Chairman of the Veterans Association of Ghana, Commodore Steve Obimpeh (Rtd), also laid one on behalf of the veterans, whilst the Osu Mantse, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona V, laid one on behalf of Traditional Authorities.
A representative of Corporal Attipoe’s family also laid a wreath on behalf of the fallen heroes.
Special prayers were said to bless the souls of the heroes for the love, dedication and the service to their motherland; as well as for the peace and stability in Ghana and the world.
The relatives of the heroes, Ministers of States, including the Ministers of Defence and the Interior, Parliamentarians, Traditional Authorities with other dignities graced the occasion.
An impressive parade was mounted by some detachments drawn from the Army, Navy, Air force, Police and Veteran Soldiers.
The most solemn moment came when the names of the war veterans were called out one after the other.
The response of “absent sir” was heard from the veterans when the name of a departed colleague was mentioned three times.
The shooting incident occurred after several appeals made by the soldiers to the authorities fell on deaf ears, and after a period of waiting for their reasonable war benefits to be paid yielded no results.
The Ex-servicemen decided that a direct approach should be made to the British Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Gold Coast Regiment, Sir Creasy.
Therefore, on Saturday February 28, 1948, before noon, the unarmed Ex-servicemen embarked on a march from Accra to the Christianborg Castle to present a petition to the Governor and the Commander-in-Chief.
However, they were intercepted at the Christianborg Crossroads by a contingent of armed policemen led by a British Superintendent, Mr Colin Imray.
The Superintendent ordered the Ex-Service men to disperse; when his orders were disobeyed, he gave another order to the Police to open fire, when this second order was not complied with, Mr Imray fired at the Ex-servicemen, killing the three.
News about the death of the servicemen spread rapidly, leading to a situation where law and order broke down in Accra and other parts of the country.
This encouraged anti-colonial movements to press the British Government to institute a committee to investigate the killings and the general disorder.
The Committee recommended self-government for the Gold Coast, which subsequently, led to the attainment of political independence for the country on March 6, 1957.