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Ghanaian WW2 veterans wait for British government payout

Ghanaian WW2 veterans wait for British government payout

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The British government is expected to disburse over $15m (£11m) this month to commonwealth veterans of the British Armed Forces.

Most of them have been neglected for decades and struggle to make ends meet.

One of the veterans waiting for payment is 94-year-old Ashitey Hammond.

The Ghanaian fought for Britain in Burma in World War Two and was awarded the Burma Star for his bravery.

But he now lives in his late brother's small one-bedroom apartment in the capital Accra and struggles to get by.

He says the British government had promised regular cash payments to veterans from 1946 and failed to deliver:

They didn’t honour their promise and our people were in deplorable conditions. Ex-soldiers begged on the streets, it was very pathetic. I find it difficult to make ends meet."

The veterans were given a lump sum of money in 1946.

The amount each veteran received depended on the number of years in service.

Some were paid 30 shillings which could sustain them for just a month.

In 1950, following protests, they were given a monthly payment of nine shillings as their pension until Ghana gained independence in 1957 and took over the payments.

But they believed they deserved more.

In November last year, the British government announced that it would feed 7,000 veterans from the Commonwealth who had served in the British Armed Forces.

The plan is for each veteran to get £1,000 a year for the next five years, Derrick Cobbinah, projects coordinator for the British government support programme told me.

The Ghana Veterans Administration is compiling the list of beneficiaries in the country. Their spokesperson, Bright Segbefia, says nearly 200 veterans will be eligible for the payment.

 

 

Source: bbc.com