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Kohima Veterans To Be Honoured in York Minster Ceremony

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6:04am 10th July 2014

Veterans of the Battle of Kohima will gather in York on today for their annual memorial service and wreath-laying in Dean’s Gardens adjacent to York Minster.

The service to commemorate what the late Earl Mountbatten described as 'probably one of the greatest battles in history’ commemorates the battle of Kohima in North East India which was fought from 4 April to 22 June 1944. Nearly 4,000 British and Indian soldiers lost their lives when Allied Forces halted the advance of the Japanese army in Asia.

Despite being hampered by monsoon rain and treacherous terrain, Allied soldiers succeeded in taking Kohima in hand-to-hand fighting that culminated on the District Commissioner’s tennis court. This battle was ultimately to prove to be the turning point of the Burma Campaign.

The service will be conducted by Rev Stephen Forster, Deputy Assistant Chaplain General. Following the service, the surviving veterans and their families lay wreaths at the Kohima Memorial in Dean’s Gardens

Those that fell in battle 70 years ago will be remembered by a minute's silence and a bugler from the Band Royal Corps of Signals will sound the "Last Post" and "Reveille".

The veterans and their families will then attend a reception at Imphal Barracks and have the opportunity to browse in its Kohima Museum which houses many photos, letters and memorabilia from the period.

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