RCEL Officer Attends Myohaung Day Parade In Ghana
By Ex-WOI Bright Segbefia:
The Welfare Officer of Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL), Capt Lance Gill, has graced this year’s Drum-Head service marking the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Myohaung at the 2nd Battalion of Infantry, known as Myohaung Barracks, in Takoradi, capital of Western Region of Ghana, about 3.5hrs’ drive from Accra, the national capital.
Also in attendance were the Deputy Western Regional Minister, Hon Alfred Ekow Gyan (who was the guest of honour); Support Service Brigade Commander/Southern Command Commander, Brig Gen Musah Whajah; the Executive Director of Veterans Administration, Ghana (VAG), Col Chris Nutakor (Rtd; Acting 2 Garrison Commander, Gp Capt Addo Asante, military attaché to the British High Commission in Ghana, Lt Col Ben Richards, Western Regional Security Council members and some traditional leaders.
There was a contingent of 30 smartly turned-out veterans on parade, commanded by Ex-CPOI Way Abodakpi. The army, navy and air force also provided a contingent each. They were commanded by Capt Omare Boateng.
After the drums were piled up, the colours were laid on them for consecration by a member of the inter-religious clergy of Christian and Islamic faiths, (Rev Maj Benjamin Kwesi Effa, Capt Mohamed Alhassan, and Rev Annan Forson). The various flags were hoisted at half mast to signify mourning.
The Western Regional chairman of VAG, Ex-CPOI Augustine Osei-Bonsu, who read the history of the Battle of Myohaung said the anniversary has been chosen as an annual Day of Remembrance for the whole of Royal African Frontier Forces because on that day in 1945, the two largest formations, which West Africa had put into the battlefield, 81st & 82nd Divisions, advancing on convergent axis, met and emerged victorious on that battlefield.
Myohaung, the ancient capital of the Arakanese kings, lies in the valley of the River Kaladan, down which the 82nd West African Division, having cleared the paralleled valley of the River Kaladan, crossed the intervening hills by forced marches and fell upon the flanks and rear of the enemy (Japanese) just as the main attack by the 81st West African division was developing.
The result was a singular success for the West African Forces whose ranks included major units from Nigeria, the Gold Coast (now Ghana), Sierra-Leone, and the Gambia. Like other wars, though RWAFF won, it was not without the ultimate sacrifice. It is in view of these loses by the gallant soldiers that the day has been instituted to remember them.
In their respective prayers, the clergymen appealed to God to give eternal life to the souls of those who laid down their lives in the search of peace.
At the reception to entertain the veterans, their families, friends and invited guests, Capt Gill presented a grant of $350 to a blind veteran, Ex Pte Bordoh. The money was from the RCE Fund to 2WW veterans and it was done in the presence of his daughter, Ms Priscilla Duncan-Blay. This is the second time that such a grant has come to him. The family and VAG were grateful to RCEL.