World War I
After establishing supremacy in Ghana, the British created the
Gold Coast Regiment as a component of the West African Frontier
Force (WAFF), which kept peace throughout the territories of the
Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. In 1928
the WAFF because the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF).
British officers and noncommissioned officers organized, trained,
and equipped the Gold Coast Regiment. For much of the colonial
period, the British recruited African enlisted personnel only from
ethnic groups in the Northern Territories Protectorate. Eventually,
the Gold Coast Regiment accepted a few African officers and an
increasing number of African noncommissioned officers from the
south. Nevertheless, the north-south division continued to
characterize the Gold Coast Regiment.
On July 31, 1914, four days before the British declaration of
war on Germany, Accra mobilized its military forces. The Gold Coast
Regiment included thirty-eight British officers, eleven British
warrant or noncommissioned officers, 1,584 Ghanaians, (including
124 carriers for guns and machine guns), and about 300 reservists.
Additionally, the four Volunteer Corps (Gold Coast Volunteers, Gold
Coast Railway Volunteers, Gold Coast Mines Volunteers, and Ashanti
Mines Volunteers) fielded about 900 men. These forces participated
in the campaigns in Togo, Cameroon, and East Africa.
Deployment of the country's armed forces required the reduction
of the British colonial establishment by 30 percent between 1914
and 1917 and the closure of several military installations in the
Northern Territories. These actions persuaded many Ghanaians that
British colonial rule was about to end. As a result, a series of
disorders and protests against British colonial rule occurred
throughout the country.
During August and September 1914, for example, riots broke out
in Central Province and Ashanti, followed three years later by
unrest at Old Nigo. The wartime weakening of the administrative
structure in the Northern Territories also fueled opposition to
chiefs who used their positions to exploit the people they ruled,
to encourage military recruitment, or to advance the cause of
British colonial rule. Disturbances among the Frafra at Bongo in
April 1916 and in Gonja in March 1917 prompted the authorities to
deploy a detachment of troops to the Northern Territories to
preserve law and order.
Data as of November 1994