Ghanaians who are unfamiliar with military culture will be surprised by an activity of the Ghana Army’s 2 Infantry Battalion (2BN) focused around a white sheep named Sergeant Charles II.
According to a story initially made by Peace Journal, the 2BN performed a wreath-laying memorial march for former slain mascots to continue an age-old tradition of the Battalion.
Since the Colonial era, the pure white sheep has served as the mascot of the 2Bn Ghana Army. A mascot is a person, animal, or item that has been adopted by an institution as a symbolic figure that is thought to bring good luck to that organization.
The 2Bn conducted a procession to honor its fallen mascots, as is customary on Saturday 16 December 2023, at the Mascot Cemetery of the Myohaung Barracks, Apremdo, Takoradi.
The current mascot of 2Bn is Sergeant Charles II, a white immaculate ram who was there to honor his predecessors.
Every year on December 16th, a brief but mournful wreath-laying parade is held at the Mascot Cemetery in the Myohaung Barracks – home of 2Bn – to honor the spirits of the fallen mascots.
Military historians believe that the sheep Sergeant Charles II was named after its original benefactor, Sir Charles Noble Arden Clarke. Sergeant Charles II is seen as a morale booster for the Commanding Officer and the Unit, inspiring the Unit to greater heights.
Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke, who was born on July 25, 1898 and died on December 16, 1962, was a British colonial administrator who served as governor of the Gold Coast from 11 August 1949 to our night of freedom on March 6, 1957.
The procession to honor the 2Bn’s fallen mascots included a contingent (commanded by Lieutenant Felix Ameyaw), Cenotaph Guards, Wreathe Bearers, Flag Hoisters, the Unit’s Corps of Drums, and Sergeant Charles II, the current mascot.
Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Atobrah Bondah, the Unit’s Commanding Officer and Guest of Honour, lay the first wreathe on behalf of the Unit’s Officers and Soldiers, as the Head of the Defence Civilian Staff.
Mrs. Abigail GN Boamah put another wreath on behalf of the Defence Civilian Staff, and Madam Philomina Akrofi, representing the Battalion Magajia, laid the final wreath on behalf of spouses and families.
According to the Peace Journal, Sgt Charles II replaced SWOII Charles IX, who died on Saturday, April 30, 2016, following a brief illness and was given a complete military funeral. It normally leads the Corps of Drums of the Unit on all ceremonial marches both inside and outside the Unit.