1948 Shooting: I was bitter till I met Christ – Sgt Adjetey’s son

A son of one of the three ex-servicemen killed during the heinous Christianborg Shooting said Tuesday that for years he hated the British until he came into contact with Christ.

“I had some bitterness and hatred for the British till I met Christ,” Rev. Stephen Okan Adjetey told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr.

“I have forgiven them,” he added.

On February 28, 1948, the ex-servicemen including the father of Rev. Stephen Okan Adjetey, Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey—all members of the then Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force embarked on a peaceful march to the Castle to demand unpaid war benefits.

The 1948 incident, served as a major catalyst for the struggle of the country’s independence in 1957. President Akufo-Addo today laid a wreath at the nationalism park, near the Independence Square in Accra to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the incident.

According to Rev. Adjetey, the three soldiers who shed their blood for the nation are not being honoured enough, saying: “Private Odartey’s wife is still around and is blind but nobody is bothered.”

“There is an adage that says ‘those who do not honour their heroes are not worth dying for,” he added.

History of the crossroads

It was noon on 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. They were, however, intercepted at the crossroads by a contingent of armed policemen.

The contingent, led by British Police Superintendent, Mr Colin Imray, ordered that they disperse and when they refused to obey, he gave an order to the police to open fire and the three ex-servicemen were killed.

The ex-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 but they were not paid their gratuity.

After several appeals to the colonial government to consider their plight had failed, the ex-servicemen decided that a direct appeal should be made to the British Colonial Governor of the Gold Coast, hence the march.

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