Video: ‘We were prepared to slaughter’ – How Ghanaian veteran managed outrage after WWII
Video: ‘We were trained to kill’ - How Ghanaian veteran dealt with anger after WWII
Somewhere in the range of 74 years after the subsequent World War, nonagenarian says the frightfulness of war remains undilutedly fixed at the forefront of his thoughts.
“God is great. Your retentive memory is printed – demise. It won’t leave you when you pass on,” Joseph Ashiteye Hammond.
It would all be able to return to him effectively just by sitting in his lobby unobtrusively as his mind transforms into a TV of the fear in the channels.
“I see everything, the battling, individuals passing on, crossing stream, gunnery shelling our positions… the entire ground shaking.”
The 94-year-old was in his 20’s when he was drafted into the Gold Coast regiment which fought along with the Allied forces (U.S., Britain, France, USSR, Australia, China etc) against the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria)
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He says he fought in a war against Japanese soldiers and could lie in muddy trenches for hours while enemy snipers tried to pick out their positions.
“If you don’t kill you will be killed, finished,” he told JoyNews Emefa Dzradozi.
The final instructions they received after the six-year war was over in 1945, was to prepare the triumphant soldiers for civilian life.
In civilian communities, there is no applause for killing, only a life sentence or death penalty, he recalled what he was told.
And so Joseph Hammond says whenever he felt very angry, a clock goes off in his mind, counting to six.
The slow count, he said, tamed the urge to be violent. These are civilians, they are not soldiers, no need for violence, he tells himself and much of the red emotion subsides.