The Prince of Wales has honoured 95-year-old World War II veteran, Private Joseph Hammond for his contribution to Ghana’s Coronavirus recovery.
A statement issued by the British High Commission, made available to the Ghana News Agency said Private Hammond, inspired by the United Kingdom’s Captain Sir Thomas Moore, walked two miles every day for a week in early May to raise money for Ghanaian veterans and frontline health-workers impacted by the global pandemic.
“I am delighted that I could present Private Hammond with a Point of Light award from Her Majesty the Queen, and deliver a personal letter and a private donation from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales to Private Hammond.
“The amount of support for his cause is incredible and it was a privilege to convey the message from His Royal Highness. It was humbling to see Private Hammond visibly moved. “We all hope the support will inspire others to donate too.”
The statement said Private Hammond, like Sir Thomas Moore, also fought in Myanmar, during World War II.
it noted that Mr Thomas Hartley, the Deputy British High Commissioner to Ghana and Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Mckechnie, British Defence Attaché to Ghana, visited Private Hammond at his home in Osu in Accra to deliver a handwritten letter from The Prince, praising Private Hammond’s efforts and offering a donation to the cause.
Mr Hartley, after visiting Private Hammond said, “Even at 95 years young it is clear that nothing will slow Private Hammond’s commitment to serve his country”.
“His walk has raised hundreds of thousands of cedis for health workers and veterans across Africa and inspired many across Ghana to support their communities too.
The Prince of Wales also congratulated Private Hammond for the Commonwealth Points of Light Award that he received from The Queen in June for his fundraising work.
Commonwealth Points of Light Awards are given to people throughout the Commonwealth by The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth, to thank inspirational volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they made to their communities and beyond.
Mr Hartley and Lt Colonel McKechnie also delivered Private Hammond’s Points of Light certificate to him.
Lt Colonel Mckechnie said: “Private Hammond walked to support the hardest hit by Covid-19, he is an inspiration to me, Ghanaians and the world, “Deserving of this 144th Commonwealth Points of Light certificate and letter from Prince Charles.”
The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry also wrote to Private Hammond in June recognising his contribution to veterans across Ghana.
The Duke said: “Even at 95 years young I imagine it was not an easy task…However, given the service and selflessness, you have demonstrated throughout your life, it does not surprise me that you would take on a challenge such as this — and that you wanted to walk even more miles. As you said yourself, it is amazing!”
Private Hammond met Prince Harry at Westminster Abbey in London last year. Private Hammond has now raised more than £40,000 and working to continue his fundraising efforts with the hope of raising half a million pounds for his cause.
The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, is thanking individual volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
One outstanding volunteer from each of these countries was recognised with Commonwealth Points of Light awards running up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, April 2018.
Following the success of this programme, The Queen has decided to continue this work and award one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.