CITATION
The Colonial Police Medal For Gallantry
GORDON AITKEN
Assistant Superintendent of Police


Mr. Aitken served in the Royal Navy as a pilot in the Fleet Air arm, from July 1941 until 1946.

He was appointed to the Nigeria Police in February 1951.

On the 28th August, 1953, twenty-five Nigeria Police and twenty-five Native Administration Police, under the Command or Mr. Aitken, proceeded to Eruwa village where resistance to the collection of Capitation Tax had developed.

On the following day, August 29th, whilst arrests were being effected, approximately five hundred villagers suddenly attacked the Police with stones, injuring an Administrative Officer and most of the police.

Hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded, Mr. Aitken organised a withdrawal towards a suitable place which he could hold pending the arrival of reinforcements. With admirable coolness and resource, he extricated his men, but the crowd closed in and now began attacking the police with stones, sticks and even axes. Mr. Aitken was compelled to open fire. This had a temporary sobering erfect but almost inmediately afterwards, Dane gun fire was opened on the Police and Mr. Aitken himself was wounded.
The Colonial Police Medal For Gallantry
Dane Gun
He continued, however, to conduct the withdrawal to a successful conclusion.

His courageous and cool conduct was undoubtedly responsible for averting a grave disaster and for saving the lives of his men.

Newspaper Account from The Times September 1st 1953
Three British officials were shot and wounded, a demonstrator was killed, and several Nigerian policemen were injured during a riot in West Nigeria today.

The incident occured at Eruwa, a small town near Ibadan, when crowds protesting against tax increases made an attack on the police force. A combined force of native authority police and Nigerian police opened fire on the mob.

The wounded Britons are Mr. J.F. Hayley, senior district officer, Mr. B.K. Cooper, administrative secretary of the Ibadan native authority, and Mr. G. Aitken, assistant superintendent of police.

The situation was later reported quiet.

Colonial Map
Map of Eruwa and Ibadan
Colony Profile
Nigeria
Further Reading
Colonial Policing and the Imperial Endgame 1945-1980: 'At the End of the Line'


Nigeria




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