The Battle of Kohima Remembrance Service 7 July 2016
The Battle of Kohima Remembrance Service took place at Deans Park, York Minster.
Veterans of a battle, called one of the greatest in history, laid wreaths and remembered fallen comrades in a special ceremony in York. The Second World War Battle of Kohima was commemorated on its 72nd anniversary, with a ceremony attended by ten veterans of the bloody conflict along with serving soldiers from 2 Signal Regiment.
The service of remembrance and gratitude was held yesterday in the Dean’s Park, the home of the Kohima memorial, and saw young people from a York school join the veterans to remember the sacrifices made in the battle.
Giving the address at the service, the former Bishop of Liverpool James Jones reminded people that Lord Mountbatten said:
“There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak out, and the speaking out belongs to this day.
“We salute those who fought for us in the valley of the shadow of death.”
Among those paying tributes at the service was 95-year-old Roy Welland, who fought at Kohima.
They had been known as the “forgotten army” in Burma, he said, while the British press focused on fighting in Europe.
Fellow veteran Richard Day, 90, said: “The memories are always with me. It’s important to commemorate this battle – we don’t need reminding, but the new generations do.”
During the service WO1 Brian Kiernan, Garrison Sergeant Major in York, read Laurence Binyon’s lines “They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.”
Having the service in York, at the Kohima memorial, “means everything” to the veterans and their families, he said. “It’s a chance for them to come back and remember all their comrades with whom they stood side by side. A chance to reflect and remember.” Nearly 4,000 British and Indian soldiers lost their lives in the conflict with Japanese forces at Kohima, between April and June 1944.