We invited the Dean of York to lay a wreath on our behalf on 2 July at 11.00am. We did not want to let the moment go by without commemoration, particularly in the VJ75 year, and we were very glad of the opportunity to do so. The Dean and a representative of 2 Signal Regiment both laid wreaths and the Dean gave a short address.
The Garrison Sergeant Major of Imphal Barracks read out the famous lines from Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen". As ever, his beautiful Scottish lilt did exceptional justice to these words:
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
We had to work within the government guidelines, and therefore, in stark contrast to last year when we had over 350 supporters with us, just six people were present. Despite this, the sentiment was heartfelt and there was strength in the silence as these few wonderful people helped us all remember loved ones who fought and died in the Battle of Kohima 76 years ago. We thought of all who were involved in this battle - and our thoughts were far away in Kohima itself, where the KET is active in helping with the education of descendants of the Naga people who fought alongside the British 2nd Division and without whom the outcome of the battle might have been very different.
For all of you wonderful supporters who would have been there, please know we have been thinking of you. And if you would like to donate and help us continue to support the descendants of the Naga people who aided the British 2nd Division and without whom the outcome of the battle would have been very different.....we would be most grateful.
To view the photographs from 2nd July 2020, please click the button below
News from Kohima is not as good. Covid-19 has made a huge impact there, as it has here, but with the added fear that lockdown prevents villagers from reaching their fields to tend their crops. Our sister organisation in Nagaland, the Kohima Educational Society, has made huge efforts to reach the students in our scholarship programme and we have been able to hand over almost all of this year’s scholarship money. The chairman of KES, Dr Ngully, who is a consultant psychiatrist, has been travelling throughout Nagaland to work with village elders to help those with mental health issues. KES has also contributed Rs50,000 to the government aid work. Nagaland was in fact Covid free until the second week of May but now many people are returning from other parts of India bringing the virus with them.
Like many charities, we are working hard to continue with our work. Your support has always been greatly valued and I know that many of you have already purchased a copy of The Road to Kohima by Charles Chasie and Harry Fecitt.
Please do watch the simple ceremony in York which is followed by our trustee Dr Ron Clayton explaining a little more about the battle, the service and the work of the trust. And if you are so moved, perhaps you would be willing to make a donation. Anything that you can give will be wonderful and mean a great deal to those your donations help in Nagaland.