The Duke of York, Patron of the Kohima Educational Trust, attended a reception and Service at York Minster to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Kohima.
The battle is known as a turning point in the Second World War, but remains relatively unknown as it took place in Nagaland, India. Fought between 8 March and 18 July 1944, the decisive Japanese defeat became springboard for the Fourteenth Army’s subsequent re-conquest of Burma. Find out more about the Battle here.
In 2012, His Royal Highness visited Kohima, Nagaland as part of his tour of India to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and laid a Wreath at the Kohima Memorial in memory of those who fought in Battle.
The Service was attended by veterans, family members and descendants of veterans of the battle. The Dean of York, The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost presided and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, gave an address at the service.
Inspired by what he saw in 2012, later that year The Duke invited Kohima Veterans to Buckingham Palace and accepted the invitation to become Patron of the Kohima Educational Trust, which raises funds to improve lives in the area around Kohima in order to repay the debt of gratitude to the local population (Naga’s) for their help during the battle.
At today’s reception, His Royal Highness met seven Veterans from the Battle, before laying a Wreath at the Kohima Memorial in the Minster Gardens, which has the Epitaph of “When you go home tell them of us and say for your tomorrow we gave our today.”
A flypast of a Hurricane finished the day’s commemorations – during the Battle, these aircraft dropped two tons of supplies and equipment for British and Commonwealth troops.