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80th Anniversary Commemoration Service at York Minster: The Battle of Kohima

1 Jul, 2024

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80th Anniversary Commemoration Service at York Minster: The Battle of Kohima – the turning point in the Far East Campaign during the Second World War.

The Kohima Educational Trust, with 2 Signal Regiment and York Minster will hold a Service of Remembrance on Thursday 4th July at 11am in Dean’s Park at York Minster. The Service will commemorate all those who fought and died for their country during this crucial battle.  

The service will be attended by descendants of veterans and friends of those who fought, together with The Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, the Lord Mayor of York, and The Sheriff of York. 

In April 1944 the town of Kohima was besieged by a Japanese division spearheading what they hoped would be the invasion of India. The defenders, 1500 men of the Royal West Kents, the Assam Regiment and the Assam Rifles, held out for two weeks until relieved by their comrades of the 2nd British Division. The ensuing battle, fought at close quarters for two months, was the first defeat of the Japanese by the British army, and a turning point in the war in Asia. 

The town of Kohima was completely destroyed, but this did not prevent the local inhabitants from supporting the British and Indian troops as guides, porters and combatants. Without the help of the Naga people, it is doubtful if the battle could have been won. 

Sylvia May, CEO of the Kohima Educational Trust comments:  

“Our annual service, this year commemorating the 80th anniversary of the battle, is a marvellous occasion when families and friends gather in front of the 2nd Division memorial, a replica of the one that stands in Kohima, to remember those ‘who did not come home’. We are honoured to be hosted by the Dean who will conduct the service and we are delighted to welcome this year the Venerable Dr (Air Vice-Marshal) Giles Legood, Chaplain-in-Chief and Archdeacon for the RAF, who will give the Address. 

The Dean of York comments:

“In this major anniversary year, we are privileged to host this important memorial that recalls one of the significant events of World War II. The Kohima Educational Trust’s work with the Naga continues to be profoundly important and it is an honour for the Minster to be associated with this.”

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