Dr Robert Lyman in discussion with Robert and Sylvia May recounting the story of the Naga village of Pangsha, from its earliest exposure to the British in the 1930s through to the crash of an American C46 transport aircraft in August 1943 and how the Kohima Educational Trust became involved.
In 2009 Robert and Sylvia May visited Pangsha, a remote Naga village seventeen hours drive north east of Kohima. Their journey was on behalf of KET as it had been identified as one of the more deprived areas of Nagaland. A local Mission school serving a 50 mile area to which children travelled on foot and there was a need for a hostel in which the children could stay.
Before leaving Kohima, their friend and Kohima Educational Society chairman at the time, Pheluopfhelie Kesiezie had told of a piece of an aeroplane found and kept by the villagers of Pangsha.
Fascinated by this, having photographed the plane part Robert May undertook extensive research on his return to the UK and unearthed an extraordinary story of another WW2 theatre touching the lives of the Nagas.
Dr Robert Lyman, author of Among the Headhunters talks about these remote hills people and how few times the outside world had ever reached them and the outcome when it did.
After you've watched our webinar you may like to click on the video below to hear a little more about John "Jack" Davies' drawings - watch this short video below from the US National Archives.
To learn more about the 1936 expedition to rescue slaves in the Naga Hills, click the button below to read "The Pangsha Letters" by J. P. Mills.
Dr Robert Lyman
Born in New Zealand in January 1963 and educated in Australia, Robert Lyman was, for twenty years, an officer in the British Army. Educated at Scotch College, Melbourne he was commissioned into the Light Infantry from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in April 1982. In addition to a business career he is an author and military historian, publishing books in particular on the war in the Far East. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Robert is married to Hannah, has two sons, and lives in Berkshire. For information about Robert's publications please visit his website: robertlyman.com
Robert is married to Sylvia May and he first visited India in 1994 with her and has returned on numerous occasions, staying in Kohima several times. In 2009 Robert and Sylvia visited Pangsha, a remote Naga village seventeen hours drive north east of Kohima. Before leaving Kohima, their friend and Kohima Educational Society chairman at the time, Pheluopfhelie Kesiezie, had told of a piece of an aeroplane found and kept by the villagers of Pangsha. Fascinated by this, having photographed the plane part Robert May undertook extensive research on his return to the UK and unearthed an extraordinary story of another WW2 theatre touching the lives of the Nagas.
Sylvia May - CEO of The Kohima Educational Trust
Sylvia May was born in New Jersey, USA in 1957. Her parents moved to England in 1963. Educated at High Wycombe School for Girls, she decided to pursue a career in the world of books. Sylvia worked for HarperCollins for 37 years, the last eleven of which she headed up their UK-based International Sales team. Sylvia May is the daughter of the late Gordon Graham, Founder and President of the Kohima Educational Trust. She is proud that her father has inspired many people to share his vision to commemorate those who fought and died in Kohima, and the wonderful Naga people who have done so much for the British in the past. She first visited India in 1994 with her husband Robert, and has returned on numerous occasions, staying in Kohima several times. In 2000, they followed the WWII route of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, her father’s regiment. The regiment’s first main engagement in this theatre of war was at Zubza shortly before the Battle of Kohima.