67th Anniversary of the Battle of Kohima
Thursday the 28th April saw the gathering of those Veterans prepared to make the trip again to York to celebrate the 67th Anniversary of the Battle of Kohima and to remember those men who remain forever in India. This year 19 Veterans made the trip.
After the Memorial service, the Commanding Officer of 2 Signal Regiment, Lt. Col Andy Knott MBE presented a cheque for £14,199.03 to the President of the Kohima Educational Trust – Major Gordon Graham MC*. The money was raised in a series of charity events organised and run by 2 Signal Regiment whilst deployed on operations in Afghanistan.
The Memorial Day also saw the launch of the Roll of Honour for the Battle. The Roll of Honour is a project of the Kohima Museum and is intended as a definitive work which collects together all of the soldiers from the British 2nd Infantry Division and formations from the Indian Army who were attached and who died during the fierce fighting which culminated in the thorough defeat of the Japanese 31st Division and halted the Japanese invasion of India.
So far the names of 2688 men have been identified as having fought with or been attached to the 2nd Division. Many of these men are buried or commemorated in the Kohima Cemetery but a significant number are buried or commemorated in cemeteries close to where they succumbed to their wounds. It is important that these men are collected together under the same covers.
It is also hoped that the Roll of Honour will serve as a future research tool.
Those Veterans who were able to attend were invited during lunch to come forward and sign their name to the document of dedication which will be framed and hung in the museum.
The Memorial Service and lunch was also attended by Mrs Akiko Macdonald. She is the Chairperson of the Burma Campaign Society and her father was a Veterinary Surgeon with the Japanese 31st Division.
After lunch the Veterans paid their traditional visit to the Kohima Museum where many of them remarked on the new improved layout of the rooms and displays.