On 6th July 2023 we welcomed friends, supporters and families of veterans to Dean’s Park, York Minster, for the commemoration of the 79th Anniversary of the battles of Kohima and Imphal.
The Kohima Educational Trust is grateful to the Chapter of York for allowing this memorial service to be held in Dean’s Park.
The Memorial service was conducted by The Very Reverend Dominic Barrington, Dean of York.
Above: The Very Reverend Dominic Barrington welcomes the congregation and leads the opening prayers.
The Music was played by The Band of the Royal Yorkshire Regiment, by kind permission of Lt Col Hill, CO 4th Battalion Royal Yorkshire Regiment
The Piper was LCpl Wilson 214 Squadron
The first reading was Pericles’ Funeral Oration read by Catherine Calder.
Catherine (pictured below) is the granddaughter of CSM/WO2 Patrick Leonard, 4 RWK, a veteran of the Siege and on into Rangoon.
The reading is an excerpt from an oration given by Pericles, the Athenian statesman, at the funeral of those killed defending Athens in the Peloponnesian War.
The second reading was the poem No Tears Were Shed at Kohima, read by Angus Barclay
Angus is the nephew of Lieutenant Charles Barclay, Royal Norfolks, KIA and buried in the Kohima War cemetery.
The poem was written by Sergeant John Donne who fought in Kohima with the Lancashire Fusiliers.
The third reading was Romans 8:31-39 read by Mary Langshaw
Mary is the eldest daughter of Capt Keith Halnan, Royal Signals, 2nd Division.
The Address was given by The Rt Revd Hugh Nelson, Bishop of St Germans and Bishop to the Forces. Bishop Hugh spoke movingly about his grandfather who had come to the Christian faith as a prisoner on the River Kwai. The full text of The Address can be read by clicking on the button below.
The Address was followed by Laurence Binyon’s famous lines, read by WO1 (GSM) Brian Kiernan:
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.
The Kohima Epitaph was read by Suzanne German
Suzanne is the great granddaughter of Private Matthew Ross, Army Catering Corps attached to the Durham Light Infantry.
When you go home
Tell them of us, and say,
For your tomorrow
We gave our today
Wreaths were then laid:
Veteran Fusilier Richard Day
Rt Hon Lord Mayor Reverend Councillor Chris Cullwick
Mr Stephen White, Chairman Kohima Educational Trust
Lt Col Matthew Jones, CO 2nd Signal Regiment and York Garrison Commander
The Prayers were led by The Rt Revd Nigel Stock who is a trustee of KET.
The Kohima Educational Trust would like to thank the soldiers of the 2nd Signal Regiment for their unstinting help and once again to the Chapter of York without whom this service would not be possible. We thank also the Civic Party of York and all those who joined us on the day for the service - thank you for your continued support.
Photography: with thanks to Ravage Productions