Coomassie Road, W9

Place Name

An historic spelling for the Ghanian town of Kumasi (also spelled Comassie and usually Kumase in Twi) a stronghold of the Ashanti tribe. It is a reference to the town’s capture by British forces under Sir Garnet Wolseley in 1874 in what was known as Third Anglo-Ashanti War, or the First Ashanti Expedition. It was here that a German missionary family and a Swiss missionary were being held captive by the Ashanti following their kidnapping in Togo some five years before. Wolseley first had to build a road and bridges to expand the single file track from the Gold Coast to the town across 160 miles of hostile terrain in order for his 2,500 British and several thousand West Indian and African troops, to be able to reach their target. His victory made him a household name in England, shortly before this road was laid out.

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