Accra, Feb 28, GNA - Wreaths were laid at the Osu Cenotaph on Tuesday in commemoration of the 58th anniversary of the three ex-servicemen who were gunned down at the Christianborg Crossroads on February 28, 1948, while going to present a petition to the British Colonial Governor, Sir Gerald Creasy.
The victims were Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey.
Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, Minister of Defence, laid a wreath on behalf of the government and people of Ghana and Lt-Gen J.B. Danquah, the Chief of Defence Staff, laid one on behalf of the security services. The Chairman of the Veterans Association of Ghana laid one on behalf of ex-servicemen while Nii Adote Obuor, Sempe Mantse and Acting President of Ga Traditional Area, laid one on behalf of traditional rulers.
Over 120 men drawn from the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and the Police Service and three officers formed the parade, which was under the command of Major F. D. Arthur.
Major D. B. Bangsiibu, Director of Religious Service of the Ghana Armed Forces, thanked God for sustaining the country since the colonial era and prayed for peace and stability in Ghana and in the world. Major S. S. Adam, Chief Imam of the Ghana Armed Forces, prayed for sustenance of peace and stability.
The Osu Wulomo, poured the libation.
On Saturday, February 28, 1948, a number of ex-servicemen were marching from Accra to Christianborg Castle to present a petition to the Governor on their unpaid war benefits when they were intercepted at the crossroads by a contingent of armed policemen.
The contingent led by British Superintendent Mr Imray ordered that they dispersed when they refused to obey, he gave an order to the police to open fire and the three ex-servicemen were killed. The soldiers had fought alongside the allied forces in the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force during the Second World War and had returned home poor and were not paid their gratuities.
After several appeals to the colonial government to consider their plight had failed, the ex-servicemen decided that a direct approach should be made to the British Colonial Governor of the Gold Coast.
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.
It encouraged anti-colonial movements to press the British government to institute a committee to investigate the killings and general disorder.
The Committee recommended self-government for the Gold Coast, which subsequently led to the attainment of political independence for the country.