War  |  Memory  |  Gratitude

Hill of Valour: George Knowland and the Commandos at Kangaw

Hill of Valour: George Knowland and the Commandos at Kangaw


The Kohima Educational Trust is delighted to present this webinar with Dr Robert Lyman and to welcome back guest speaker, historian and author Steve Snelling.

Out-gunned and out-numbered by odds of more than 15 to one, a small force of Commandos fought one of the most desperate battles of the Burma campaign under the inspirational leadership of a 22-year-old officer commanding a platoon in action for the first time.

Steve Snelling tells the story of a Combined Operation and its climactic close-quarter struggle that helped decide the outcome of the Third Arakan offensive.

The recording is now available to watch below:



Original Victor Comic - as mentioned during the webinar:

With grateful thanks to our supporter Darren Little for kindly sharing his photographs of this original Victor Comic, no. 20, dated 8th July 1961 of the Battle of Hill 170, Kangaw, Burma.  Darren’s grandfather was fighting at the same location of Hill 170 as the subject of this story Lt George Knowland, who earned his VC defending their position.  Click the button below to view:

Victor Comic no.20 The Battle of Hill 170, Kangaw


Read more about George Knowland VC on Dr Robert Lyman's blog "The War Room": 

The extraordinary story of Lieutenant George Knowland, VC


Read about George Arthur Knowland VC on victoriacrossonline web page:

George Arthur Knowland VC - victoria cross online


Our speakers:


Dr Robert Lyman - Military Historian, Author and Trustee of KET

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


Steve Snelling - Military Historian and Author

Steve is a freelance writer from Norwich, England, with a passion for military and local history. Born and raised in Norwich, he has been a writer and journalist all his adult life. He worked with Eastern Counties Newspapers (now renamed and rebranded Archant) eventually leaving, in 2010, as assistant editor, to concentrate on writing books while working as a freelance journalist. Steve's knowledge of the Victoria Cross awards (both First and Second World Wars) is extensive and he has an in-depth knowledge of the the Battle of Kohima in 1944.


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.

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