A Walk To Remember: WW-II Tribute Trek Ends At Kohima War Cemetery - Eastern Mirror
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A Walk to Remember: WW-II tribute trek ends at Kohima War Cemetery

By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Apr 03, 2024 9:00 pm
Kohima War Cemetery
Charlotte Carty, Mark Slim, Dr. Robert Lyman, Bertie Alexander and other participants at Kohima War Cemetery on Wednesday. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — A commemorative trek retracing the steps of soldiers, who fought in the Battle of Kohima during the World War II, concluded at the Kohima War Cemetery on Wednesday.

Led by Charlotte Carty, granddaughter of Lt. Col William Felix ‘Bruno’ Brown, CO of 1st Assam Regiment during the Battle of Kohima in 1944, the group began the journey from Jessami village in Manipur at midnight on April 1.

Under the banner ‘A Walk to Remember,’ Carty was accompanied by her three children and 20 fellow descendents, along with additional participants totalling 27.

Upon reaching Kohima, a culmination programme was held at the Kohima War Cemetery where Carty recounted the feat of her grandfather and his men, who covered 77 miles from Jessami to Kohima in just 39 hours after days of intense fighting.

Expressing admiration for the bravery displayed by her grandfather and his comrades during the prolonged battle until relief finally arrived, she stressed the importance of remembering and honouring the sacrifices made by previous generations, highlighting the need to pass down these stories to future generations.

While expressing gratitude for the warm welcome received during the journey, she noted the beauty of the country and the ‘remarkable people’ living there. She also acknowledged the bravery of the Naga people, pointing out that their crucial support for the Allied forces during the Battle of Kohima was a decisive engagement in WW-II, decisive to the Allied victory.

Under the leadership of Col. Bruno Brown and Field Marshal Bill Slim, the 4th Battalion of the Royal West Kents, alongside the Indian Army’s Assam regiment, valiantly defended Kohima against the advancing Japanese forces.

During a press conference following the walk, Bertie Alexander, representing Sampan Travel, discussed the logistical challenges of organising the 77-mile trek and praised the collaborative efforts of the team from the Naga Hills.

Dr. Robert Lyman, a historian, provided historical context on the ‘Forgotten Army’ and stressed the importance of remembering them. He recounted the soldiers’ sacrifices and the enduring bond between Britain and Nagaland.

Carty delved into her personal journey and emotional connection with her grandfather’s legacy while relating the physical and emotional challenges encountered during the trek, expressing deep respect for the bravery of the Indian soldiers who fought in the Battle of Kohima.

Mark Slim, the grandson of Field Marshal Bill Slim, reflected on his family’s ties to the region and the profound significance of participating in the commemorative walk. He also emphasised the importance of remembering and honoring the sacrifices of past generations.

During the media briefing, the team expressed their gratitude to the Naga people for the support rendered during the journey and their role in preserving the sacrifices and activities of past generations for future remembrance while reflecting on the emotional and physical demands of replicating the journey of soldiers from 80 years ago.

The commemorative trek was highlighted as a reminder for younger generations to appreciate and celebrate their country’s history and heritage.

Also read: Retracing history: Descendants commemorate Battle of Kohima with tribute trek

By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Apr 03, 2024 9:00:12 pm
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