Jun 02, 2016 News
On Monday evening the Officers’ Mess of the Guyana Defence Force Headquarters Base Camp Ayanganna saw the launching of Foundation of The Guyana Defence Force: “A Soldier of Valour”; a book authored by Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Compton Hartley Liverpool and co-authored by Ms. Khalilah Campbell.
Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips, stated, “We are indeed happy and delighted to be the launching pad for this book.” He said that this was the first time Base Camp Ayanganna had ever hosted a book launch.
He noted that the book launch was being held at a time “when we (Guyanese) are celebrating Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary.”
He reminded the audience that Lt. Colonel (Ret’d) Liverpool resided on the Base Camp Ayanganna compound for a number of years, held an office and commanded troops as well from the compound.
He stated, “It is only fitting that at short notice the GDF could rise to the occasion to have this book launch, here in this compound.”
On hand to give a background of the book was co-author Ms. Khalilah Campbell who said that she “Had the unique opportunity of assisting (Lt Colonel Liverpool) in this book.”
She noted that in 2013 she began “Accompanying Lt. Colonel Liverpool” on his quest to document the historical development of the Guyana Defence Force.
Ms. Campbell highlighted four distinct periods that stood out for her and these were documented—1939, 1941, 1948 and 1965.
In 1939, she said, the British Guiana Militia had five companies that were merged into three main forces and became part of the South Caribbean Forces of the British Army.
Two years later, the United States Army built an airfield called Atkinson Airfield, the very first airport in British Guiana.
In 1948 the British Guiana Volunteer Force was formed and ultimately in 1965 the Guyana Defence Force was formed.
Campbell extended her thanks to Colonel Liverpool for affording her the opportunity to participate in the venture. She expressed hope that everyone would find the book an excellent source of invaluable information.
Lt. Colonel (Ret’d) Compton Hartley Liverpool via video conference as he was overseas recuperating from heart surgery, noted that because of his recent illness he could not be here (in Guyana) to witness “This momentous occasion” in the history of Guyana.
He stated that he dedicated his book to every officer and rank of the Guyana Defence Force from the past, present and the future. He maintained that the book should be regarded as a “pamphlet” that shows the history, inner workings and day to day operations of the GDF.
He also thanked his co-author, Ms Campbell, for her hard work over the past three years. Liverpool is also visually impaired as a result of glaucoma.
Former Chief of Staff Major General (Ret’d) Norman Gordon McLean reflecting on the career of Lt. Colonel (Ret’d) Liverpool, noted that his “squaddy” was the first soldier to be awarded the Military Service Medal (MSM) for valour in May 1970 when he sat in the nose of an aircraft and controlled a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) en route to the Apoteri, Rupununi area to defend his country’s sovereignty.
Among the guests at the book launch was President David Granger, Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Minister of Education Rupert Roopnaraine.
In a closing gesture, co-author of the book, Ms. Khalilah Megan-Campbell presented a copy of the publication to President Granger.
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