By David Granger,November 2, 2008
Radicals regarded it as their ritual duty to yell œLimey go home on encountering British soldiers in British Guiana in October 1953, fifty-five years ago. Under the governorship of Sir Alfred Savage, the soldiers were reviled as invaders. But the regiments were replenished and replaced almost continuously up to and beyond independence in 1966. By that time, they came to be seen by some as saviours.
A decade after the troops' arrival, the premier Dr Cheddi Jagan wrote a long letter to the governor Sir Ralph Grey in June 1963 asking for them to be deployed on the street. œIt is my definite impression that the very presence of the British Army is likely to have a sobering effect on those who are determined to act as hooligans and barbarians, injure and maim innocent people, start racial warfare, pose a serious threat to law and order and overthrow the constitutionally elected government, the premier pleaded. Perceptions had certainly changed from 1953 to 1963.