A bronze sculpture of the late Corporal Patrick Gagbale Attipoe, a victim of the February 28 Christianborg Crossroads shooting incident in 1948, was unveiled in his hometown, Kpota, Anyako, in the Volta Region at the weekend.
The unveiling ceremony also witnessed a dedication of Nationalism Park at Kpota Anyako, in his memory and by extension his two colleagues, Sergeant Adjetey and Private Odartey Lamptey, who also died through the shooting incident.
The construction of the Nationalism Park was sponsored by the Royal Duklui Attipoe Family to preserve the memory of their son Cpl Attipoe.
Underneath the sculpture was the inscription: “In memory of Corporal Patrick Gagbale Attipoe was the first of three gallant ex-servicemen who lost their lives at the 28th February, 1948 Christianborg Crossing Shooting Incident, a Pivotal moment in Ghana’s march to Independence. May this monument be a testament to your bravery and that of your comrades Sergeant Adjetey and Private Odartey Lamptey, Rest in Peace”.
Major General Clayton Naa Boanubah Yaache (Rtd), the Board Chairman of Veterans Administration, who unveiled the statue paid glowing tribute to the three ex-servicemen.
He said the presence of Cpl Attipoe’s bust and a whole park dedicated to his memory would serve as an inspiration to the current generation and generations yet unborn that it is worthwhile dying just a cause in national interest.
He said: “I believe this would endanger the youth to be patriotic with the hope that their contributions to the development of their traditional area, the region and country at large would not be in vain’, he said.
He entreated the family to take good care of the impressive monument for posterity.
Mr Divine Attipoe, the Head of Events and Funeral, Obam Attipoe family said many at times, heroes were celebrated in the capital, Accra but the Attipoe family believed that the time had come for heroes to be celebrated also in their localities to inspire others.
“Family members are therefore proposing that around the time when the event is celebrated annually at the national level, a mini event should take place here. We believe this will have the support of the people of the Anlo state and indeed of the entire Volta Region. We hope this laudable idea will be embraced by all”, he said.
Major General Yaache laid a wreath on behalf of Government and the people of Ghana, Mr Seth Yomewu, the Municipal Chief Executive laid the second wreath on behalf of the Security Services, the third wreath was laid by Colonel Frank Tei on behalf of Veterans, the fourth wreath laid by Togbei Sri III on behalf of the Anlo State while Mrs Lucy Adjo Aryee laid the fifth wreath on behalf of the families of the fallen soldiers.
The ceremony was graced by government officials, traditional rulers, active and retired soldiers and the Veterans Association of Ghana and families of the three ex-servicemen.
History has it that before noon on Saturday, February 28, 1948, a number of unarmed Ex-servicemen who had fought for Great Britain, her allies, in the World War II were marching to the Osu Castle to present a petition to the Governor, Sir Gerald Creasy.
The war veterans were frustrated by the failure of the colonial administration to fulfil promises made to them before the war – to better their standard of living.
A contingent of armed police men, led by British Police Superintendent Collins Imray, intercepted them at the crossroads and ordered them to disperse.
In defiance of the order, the ex-service men marched on to accomplish their mission. Superintendent Imray gave an order to the police to open fire on them, killing the three ex-servicemen in the process.
The news about the death of the gallant Ex-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 general.
The committee later recommended a self-government for the Gold Coast, which subsequently led to the attainment of political independence for the country.