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  • Date: 7 March - 18 July 1944
  • Location: Manipur and Nagaland States (in modern-day India)
  • Campaign: Second World War (1939-45)
  • Combatants: Britain and British India against Japan and the Indian National Army (INA)
  • Protagonists: Lieutenant-General William Slim, Lieutenant-General Geoffrey Scoones, Lieutenant-General Montagu Stopford and Colonel Hugh Richards; Lieutenant-General Renya Mutaguchi and Lieutenant-General Kotoku Sato
  • Outcome: British and British Indian victory

89 comments

SR SMITH
25 April 2016, 12.22pm

I am an Indian. In modern

I am an Indian. In modern India, at least among the general public, very little seems to be understood or discussed about the war with Japan. I first read of the battles of Northeast India through Paul Scott's novels of "The Raj Quartet," which I read last year, and today came to hear of the book "Kohima" by Arthur Swinson who took part in that battle. That led me to the Wikipedia page on the battle, and thence to the National Army Museum website. By all accounts the ultimate British victory in these crucial battles prevented Japan from possibly conquering India, which in turn could have (very differently) influenced the outcome of the war as a whole.

Though I was born only in 1979, I have always been fascinated and saddened by the events of the first and second world wars, and I therefore feel great respect for the soldiers on both sides who suffered terribly at these battles of Burma and the Northeast. Whatever be the politics of Empire, more Indians should care about their sacrifice. Indeed it was 'for our future', as mentioned in the war memorial epitaph.

Richard Cullen
6 April 2016, 10.22am

My mother was a nursing

My mother was a nursing sister with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), and served in Burma. I'm pretty sure that she was somehow involved in supporting the defence of Kohima and/or Imphal. She never spoke of it, but I remember my father telling me that there was period when she was uncomfortably close to the Japanese.
Apart from references to a military hospital at Manipur, I have found little convincing detail of the role of QAIMNS personnel in this period, and would welcome any concrete information about this.

frank james harrison
24 December 2015, 2.07pm

My great uncle Ernest

My great uncle Ernest Harrison of the Durham Light Infantry was killed in the battle for the tennis courts. I know very little about him about him as my father and grandfather never spoke of him. I only know his body was never recovered. If anyone can help me with any further information i would be grateful.

Keith
24 November 2015, 9.48pm

My Father, Sargent Kenneth

My Father, Sargent Kenneth Johnson, was Canadian but in British 14th Army 2nd Infantry Yorkshire was badly wounded at Imphal and was in and out of hospitals his whole life up to his passing in 1998. I remember Malaria and PTSD attacks. He never talked about it but always had so much respect for The Gurkas who fought beside him. Miss him every day.

Anji kerr
13 November 2015, 10.17am

In relation to [Graeme

In relation to [Graeme Parsons's message of 14/08/2015], My father was at Kohima. He was silent for many years. Could not bear to talk about it. Looking back he clearly had what we now know as PTSD. He suffered oh how he suffered. He wrote down some stuff you may be interested in. I am preparing a little book on Photo box for my family.

Anji

My father died a year ago now. Still missed.

Phil Holmes
16 October 2015, 7.35pm

My father Ewart Holmes was

My father Ewart Holmes was killed on 16 May 1944 fighting the Japanese for the Kings Own Scottish Borderers to the east of Kanglatonbi north of Imphal. A report said they crossed the river on ropes in darkness, climbed a cliff and rested until dawn when they attacked the Japanese bunkers. Do any local guides know the name of this hill or battle site? His body was buried, but know record remains of where it is. If I find out, I would be interested in visiting.

Stephen J Pennells
16 August 2015, 11.17pm

further to my note on #60- My

further to my note on #60- My "foreman" was Jack Welstead- a local man who in retirement after leading the night shift at Riverhead Marley Tiles went on to work at St. Hilary's school and caretaker and handyman with my father- also ex- Queen's Own, though father was younger and didn't see action until the last few months of the invasion of Germany. Jack was a modest man who didn't talk about Kohima, but new Tom by his Christian name.

ellis david allen
16 August 2015, 3.44pm

my father ellis dean allen

my father ellis dean allen was a sergeant instructor with the raf at imphal unarmed combat and was preparing to return to burmah when bomb dropped

Graeme Parsons
14 August 2015, 1.52pm

I would like to know if

I would like to know if anybody can advise on any organisations that I could contact to try and find out more information regarding my late father's experiences in the second world war? He had a Burma Star medal and I believe he fought at Kohima and Imphal, but he told me very little of his experiences. If any items came on the television about this part of the second world war he would often break down in tears and leave the room. He obviously saw some horrific things. I know from my mother that she feared him lost at one point as she had received no letters from him for in excess of 6 months. I would like to find out more about what he went through and his journey throughout Burma/India. I have some old photographs from Egypt where he was offloaded from the troop boat and hospitalised (I don't know the name of the boat but it sailed from Stranraer) having fallen and broken his ribs, and also from Rangoon. He never caught up with his original unit and never saw some of his friends again. He was I believe in the Staffordshire regiment and became a sergeant major within the military police.

James Hall
9 July 2015, 9.09am

I feel very emotional reading

I feel very emotional reading these comments. My father sailed to India in the troopship Mooltan and came home in the Georgic in early 1947. Nobody wanted to know what those young men went through. His sister threw his medals away. He never told me much about it although I pestered him at times. Only shortly before he died he recalled that he wore a badge with crossed keys which I discovered was the 2nd British Division. Then I discovered he had been wounded. He had kept that from me as well. I think he was in armoured cars or scout cars but as he told me he was in different units. He used to get bouts of malaria reoccurring when I was very little I think. Without the bravery of those boys of the 14th Army of all nations and religions, India would have become a colony of Japan. That would have been far worse for the Indian people than British rule. The British were preparing to leave anyway. I find it hard to accept the way some people regard the INA as heroes. They were misguided. The real heroes were the loyal Indians who fought both for the Empire and India.

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