Joseph Ashitey Hammond

Last updated
Joseph Ashitey Hammond
World War 2 Ghanaian Veteran 02.jpg
Hammond in 2020
Born
Joseph Ashitey Hammond

c. 1925 (age 9596)
Ghana
Known for
Military career
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Ghana
Service/branchFlag of the Gold Coast (1877-1957).svg Gold Coast Regiment
Years of service1943–1946
Rank
Unit
  • 3rd Battalion
Battles/wars

Private Joseph Ashitey Hammond (born c. 1925) is a Ghanaian Second World War veteran, known for his achievements in fundraising during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a veteran of the Burma campaign.

Contents

Hammond came to media attention in May 2020, after walking 14 miles in a week to raise money for coronavirus charities. [1] He took his inspiration from Sir Thomas Moore, popularly known as Captain Tom, a former British Army officer who has similar footsteps in raising funds to support the vulnerable prior to his 100th birthday in April. [2]

Military service

Hammond joined the Gold Coast Regiment, then part of the Royal West African Frontier Force, on 31 July 1943. He was trained as a mechanic, and posted to Takoradi until November, when he was sent to Khulna with the 3rd Battalion, Gold Coast Regiment for further training. The battalion was attached to the 82nd West African Division and served in western Burma (now Myanmar), during which Hammond and his battalion were involved in heavy fighting. [3]

During the Allied capture of Kindaungyyi, Hammond developed an eye infection, and was sent to India for treatment, where he would remain until the end of the war. He returned home in December 1945, and was demobilised in January 1946. [4] He is known to be the only survivor to have served in the Gold Coast Regiment. [5]

COVID-19 fundraising initiative

In May 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Hammond embarked on a daily walk to raise $600,000 to support frontline workers and vulnerable veterans across Africa by walking two miles in a day for a week. [6] On the final day of his walk, 25 May, Africa Day, he was joined by Iain Walker, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Ghana. [7]

World War 2 Ghanaian Veteran 01.jpg

He was congratulated by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex in June, and was informed later the same month he was to receive a Commonwealth Points of Light award from Elizabeth II, as head of the Commonwealth of Nations. [8] [9] (Hammond had previously met Prince Harry in November 2019, at the Field of Remembrance war memorial event at Westminster Abbey.) [8] [9] In July, having raised £40,000 he was visited at home in Osu by the British Deputy High Commissioner, Thomas Hartley, and the British defence attaché to Ghana, Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Mckechnie, who delivered him his Points of Lights award and a handwritten letter from Charles, Prince of Wales. [9]

Achievements and awards

Pandemic walk - 2020

Hammond recently clocked the 14 miles walk in a week to raise funds to support the vulnerable on May 25. He hopes to embark on another walk to meet his overall goal of 30 miles. [10] [11]

GUBA Special Achievement Award - 2018

Joseph Hammond was honoured for his veteran service at the 2018 GUBA, a Ghana UK Based Achievement Awards scheme which is set to award British-Ghanaians and diasporans for their outstanding work on the African continent. [12]

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References

  1. "BBC World Service - Focus on Africa, Ghana WW2 veteran sets out on Covid-19 fundraiser". BBC. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  2. Busari, Stephanie. "The 95-year-old war veteran following in footsteps of Tom Moore to raise money for frontline workers". CNN. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  3. "Soldiers' Stories: Veterans in Conversation". National Army Museum. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  4. "Joseph's Story". Royal British Legion. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  5. Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Ghanaian WWII veteran raises funds for coronavirus front-line workers | DW | 26.05.2020". DW.COM. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  6. "Ghanaian World War 2 veteran sets out on Covid-19 fundraiser". Graphic Online. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  7. Kaledzi, Isaac (2020-05-26). "Ghanaian WWII veteran raises funds for coronavirus front-line workers". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  8. 1 2 "Queen to honour Ghana's fundraising WW2 veteran". BBC News. 2020-06-19. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  9. 1 2 3 British High Commission Accra (15 July 2020). "Prvt Hammond receives letter from HRH The Prince of Wales". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  10. Hear from 95-year-old veteran raising funds for Covid-19 - CNN Video , retrieved 2020-05-31
  11. "World War II Veteran To Raise Funds For Covid-19 In Africa – Blacksonrise.com" . Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  12. "GUBA Awards Announce Winners for 2018 – GUBA Awards" . Retrieved 2020-05-31.

Joseph Ashitey Hammond on Twitter t