67th Anniversary of the Battle of Kohima
7:29am 28th April 2011
"When you go home tell them of us and say
for your tomorrow we gave our today"
- Kohima memorial
Surviving British World War 2 Veterans will gather in York to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the 1944 Battle of Kohima, in which British and Indian Forces halted the Japanese invasion of India.
The veterans and their families will attend a memorial service in York Minster followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kohima Memorial in the Minster Gardens, to remember their fallen comrades who lie buried in the war cemetery on the Kohima Ridge, the scene of the bitterest fighting much of it across a tennis court. They will then be hosted by Brigadier Greville Bibby, Commander of 15 North East Brigade, at a reception lunch in Imphal Barracks where they will have the opportunity to browse the Kohima Museum which houses many photos, letters and memorabilia from the period most of which have been donated by the Veterans themselves.
Of great interest this year will be the dedication of the new Roll of Honour which records for the first time in one volume, the 2589 confirmed names of those who gave their lives in this critical but largely forgotten battle. The attending Veterans will be invited, during lunch to come forward and sign the dedication, which will then be mounted in the museum. This resource will enable visitors to the Museum to search for the records of family members or friends who died.
Robert Cook, Curator of the 2nd Division Kohima Museum Trust said:
"I am very grateful to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for providing data from which this record has been compiled. The Roll of Honour will not only remember and commemorate those who fought and died but also inform future generations of the sacrifices of our Armed Forces during the Second World War.
"The Kohima Memorial Service is a great tribute to the defenders of Kohima. Their actions were a turning point in the war against Japan and without their efforts and bravery our lives today would be very different."
Members of the media are invited to attend the Kohima memorial service for the laying of wreaths and act of remembrance at 11:45am in the Minster Gardens. There will also be opportunity to attend the Kohima Restaurant afterwards in Imphal Barracks Fulford to witness the signing of the Roll of Honour and interview some veterans. Please contact Eleanor Carter, Army Press Office for further information on 01904 662020.
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