Memories of History

Please click on the name below to go to the


History of Burma Battles

 2 Divs last Salute




 Flying the Hump

 (Internet researched by Nasim Anwar,

 former airforce pilot and now plantation advisor)

Click here to read the entire presentation



History Burma Battles

 May 11 2013

This page has been created to serve an remind us of the WW2 Burma actions

 and named      HISTORY of BURMA BATTLES

Recently, U.K.’s National Army Museum conducted a poll on Britain’s
greatest battle f
ought over the last 400 years. Waterloo, Aliwal, D-Day/Normandy,

Rorke’s Drift and the twin battles of Imphal and Kohima were selected
as the top five battles but in the 
last round, it threw up a name that came
as a surprise to many. It voted outright 
Britain’s twin battles against
Japan-INA (Indian National Army) fought in Kohima and
Imphal in India
during the Second World War as the greatest ever

To go to the individual stories please click on name

 Sir Charles Pawsey

Richard Wynell-Mayow

Sir John Moreton

That Battle under the Cherry Tree

Battles to repel Azad Hind Fauj and the Japanese


  Please Click on the Battle of Kohima-shodhganga below to go to the whole story

 “Sir Charles Ridley Pawsey, CSI, CIE, MC (1894–1972) was a British colonial administrator. Pawsey was commissioned into the Worcestershire Regiment ...


                       Battle of Kohima - Shodhganga


   Richard Wynell-Mayow: 1922]2005

Eulogy by a friend at the funeral of Richard Wynell]Mayow

For many years I used to think how privileged I was to have four friends upon whom, if need ever arose, I could rely utterly. Four men who would stand by me. Four men I could put my bottom dollar on, so to speak.

That was until 1998 when the first, a Jesuit priest, died on Christmas Day.

A year later the second, soldier and businessman, left us and the Christmas Day he remembered was in 1944 when he was marched into a German POW camp with no food.

The third died at about this time last year, after nearly forty years as a GP in Bicester.

Now the fourth, dear Richard, has left us and it is an honour to be asked by Eileen and Michael to say something about him as we come together to pray for him and to celebrate his remarkable life. What was it about Richard and those others (all of whom incidentally had met in our house in Tackley Place)that gave me such reassurance?

It had something to do, I think, with their being ten years or so older than I was. Which meant their memories of life in this country before the Second World War were more vivid than mine and the influences of that period upon them more marked. They grew up as young men in an England that was still a great power, that still controlled a huge empire. And they were called upon to defend it in a war that dominated their young lives and much of the 20th Century. It was in the shadow of such men that my generation grew up.

Richard, ofcourse, had direct experience of the British Empire. And perhaps we see in him the best influences of that imperial age and the standards it set – things not often referred to in the present day when empire is not a popular concept.

The first obvious influence is the self]reliance and independence that Richard learned early. He was born in the then Ceylon in 1922 and when still only eight was put on a ship, unaccompanied, and sent on a five]week journey to his prep school in England. How many boys could do that now? How many would be allowed to? And how many would get themselves into Public School more or less interviewing headmasters, as Richard did, before settling on Wellington School in Somerset?

Very early he learned to stand on his own feet. But greater testing was to come , because shortly after he returned to Ceylon to learn about tea]planting, war broke out, the Japanese swept through South]East Asia and soon were at the gates of India. Nothing could stop them, and it was not till 1944 that the British and Indian armies learned enough and had assembled the equipment to turn the tide. By then Richard was an officer in the Royal Signals Regiment and was in time to be present at the turning point. Kohima was one of the most bitterly contested battles of the war, fought out for six weeks from April to June 1944. British and Indian troops slogged it out with the Japanese; positions often. changed hands several times a day and for weeks all that separated the forces at one point was what became a very famous tennis court. It was a ghastly business and Richard was twenty]one.

Like most men who had seen action, he rarely spoke of his experiences and if he did it was with reticence. But I remember a hot summer's day in about 1997. He and I were repairing our dividing wall in the garden and whilst we were having a breather on a bench, Richard without any prompting began to tell me about two occasions when he came close to death. How he was straffed by a Japanese Zero fighter and as he threw himself flat he could see the bullets spurting into the ground on either side of him; thank goodness he survived that attack and the second when the Zero came round for another go. And how he managed to scramble out of the Dakota that was meant to be flying him back to India and safety when he realised that it was running out of take]off space and was going to plough into the jungle ahead. Again he survived.

After the war Richard returned to Ceylon Army Command as a major and it was there he met Eileen. He was making his way to the officers' mess one day when on noticing a lovely young lady he did what any young man would do and gave her a smart salute. Eileen in fact was coming home from work and she waved backed to this handsome officer in acknowledgement, from several feet up as it happened because she was on an elephant, as young ladies did. That was the spark. They married in Colombo in April 1947 and that marriage has lasted for close on sixty years. And very obviously it is the reason why all you fine young people are sitting there today!"

Richard and Eileen settled down to life on the tea estate. Richard became well known as a  sportsman – back in England he had qualified in tennis for Junior Wimbledon; in Ceylon he played golf off a handicap of three; at the Hill Club and several others he held the record for the highest break in snooker. At one club someone offered a silver teaspoon to anybody making a break of a hundred or more. After Richard had won a spoon every day for six days the offer was withdrawn. He loved fishing and he caught trout in Scotland, Ireland and Wales well into retirement. And in later years he would chug off to the Windrush valley every week to try his luck there.

By 1970 the newly independent Sri Lankan government had decided to nationalise its whole tea industry. It was a time of some instability and I recall Richard's telling me how he had been surrounded by an excited crowd whilst driving home. He managed to calm them down just as well as some of them wanted to set light to his car with him inside it.

By the time he was forced to leave Sri Lanka, Richard had become immensely knowledgeable about the tea business and he was asked to head a team of experts on behalf of the World Bank to establish a new tea industry in Indonesia. He was there for three years – then it was back to England.

And there he was at the age of fifty]four looking for a job. He found himself competing against twenty]five year]olds for a post in charge of amenities with the Milton Keynes Development Corporation. In a signal victory over ageism he got the job.

No surprise really when you think of the CV he must have had by then. But no CV could reveal Richard's special personal qualities – his kindness and generosity; his unfailing courtesy and fine manners; his combining his firm views with a willingness to listen to the other side; his modesty; above all his integrity. As one would expect, there was no trace of racial superiority with Richard. He made a point of becoming fluent in the two principal languages in Ceylon. Many of his and Eileen's closest friends were Singhalese and several of them used to visit Tackley Place in later years. And of course Eileen's father is still held in high esteem at the University of Colombo for his definitive work on the flora of the country. Quite early in their marriage Eileen and Richard decided that they would not be comfortable with the racial attitudes prevalent in Southern Africa in those days and they abandoned thoughts of settling there.

It was a great joy to hear them both give such animated accounts of their recent visit to Sri Lanka - Richard was delighted at the progress of their old estate, at the modern medical facilities for the employees, at the flourishing tea production. By the time of their visit, Richard's foreman from thirty years earlier had died, but when his son heard that Richard was in Colombo, he jumped on his motorbike and rode to see him. He rode for five hours; and then he rode five hours back again. That tells us much, does it not?

We have been privileged to have Richard as friend and neighbour for twenty]five years. And I know how much he valued the friendship in the small community of Tackley Place. In particular he was much moved by the love and support given him over the years by Sister Monica, Sister Marie Henry and all the Sisters and he described the Christmas Day Eileen and he spent with them in 2003 as one of the best they had ever had.

Above all I remember Richard as a devoted family man, so proud of his children and grandchildren. Till we left Oxford, he kept us up]to]date on the grandchildren's progress, and it is important, I think, for you to know how proud he was of you all and how much you meant to him.

Richard displayed his family loyalty to the end, visiting Eileen daily till his strength failed. Such can be, and was, the almost mystical beauty of a marriage; such was Richard and Eileen's closeness for very nearly sixty years.

Loving husband, father and grandfather,
Kind and generous neighbour,
Firm friend,
English gentleman.

May Richard, in the embrace of the God who has always loved him, now rest in peace.


     Sir John Moreton

The son of a vicar, John Oscar Moreton was born on December 28 1917 at Oakham, Rutland. He won a scholarship to St Edward’s , Oxford, where he became head of school . He read Mods and Greats at Trinity College, Oxford, where he also won a Blue at athletics; he was selected to represent England in the half-mile at White City in 1938, and at Cologne in August 1939 . Only war put an end to Moreton’s ambition of running for Britain at the Olympics.


In November 1939 he joined the 99th (Royal Bucks Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA as a second lieutenant, crossed to Europe with the BEF and was subsequently evacuated from Dunkirk. His diary noted: “The psychological shock was severe; we had been living in a false world of overconfidence and suddenly found ourselves, though we believed through no fault of our own, as part of a defeated army. The warmth of the reception we received in England made this all the harder to bear.”


Worse was to come. The campaign in Burma in 1944-45, especially the crucial battle at Kohima that halted the Japanese westward advance, marked him for life. The battle was conducted in monsoon rains and over difficult terrain, but Allied soldiers succeeded in taking Kohima in hand-to-hand fighting that culminated on the district commissioner’s tennis court.


Moreton was wounded in the shoulder by a sniper but insisted in carrying on. He was awarded an MC, the citation declaring: “Great damage was inflicted on the enemy by the gunfire brought down by Capt Moreton, who put himself in great peril every time he spoke on the wireless owing to the proximity of the enemy... Throughout he showed a great coolness, judgment and courage of the highest order.”


On retiring aged 60, he was appointed KCMG and Gentleman Usher of the Blue Rod of the Order of St Michael and St George. Although the duties are largely ceremonial, Blue Rod is also regarded as the repository of knowledge about the Order.

Sir John Moreton, the diplomat, who has died aged 94, served in several trouble spots and was Ambassador in Saigon at the height of the Vietnam War; he was then appointed Minister at the British Embassy in post-Watergate Washington .

A decorated war veteran, Moreton joined the former Colonial Service in 1946. As Private Secretary first to Thomas Lloyd, Permanent Under-Secretary of State, and later to the Colonial Secretary, Alan Lennox-Boyd, he was closely involved in discussions with former colonies in Africa which were seeking self-government en route to independence.

His first overseas posting took him to Kenya (1953-55), where he was seconded to the government as secretary of the Colony Emergency Committee, later the War Council, which was coordinating military, police and civil action against the Mau Mau. Moreton was deeply upset by subsequent allegations of atrocities committed at that time.

Between 1961 and 1964 he was Counsellor in the High Commission in Lagos following Nigeria’s independence and in the lead-up to the Biafran civil war. After a spell at home, during which the Colonial Office merged with the Commonwealth Relations Office (in 1966) and with the Foreign Office (in 1968) to become the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Moreton was appointed British Ambassador in Saigon shortly after the Tet offensive.

As the British government had decided against military involvement in Vietnam, diplomatic relations with the United States could have been problematic. But Moreton enjoyed a cordial relationship with the American Ambassador and was equally well-regarded by the South Vietnamese .

In 1969 he accompanied Lord Shepherd, the Foreign Office minister, and Sir David Trench, Governor of Hong Kong, during talks to secure the release of Anthony Grey, the Reuters correspondent detained in China in reprisal for the imprisonment of Hong Kong communists following riots in 1967.

Although Moreton’s next posting, as British High Commissioner to Malta (1972-74), was intended to be more tranquil, the newly-elected Labour Prime Minister, Dom Mintoff, was becoming pugnacious about terminating the British military presence on the island. While Moreton sympathised with Malta’s desire for economic independence from Britain, he wrangled with Mintoff over the interpretation of the Military Facilities Agreement. Malta became a republic in 1974, and the last British forces left in 1979.

Moreton’s final two postings were in the United States, first as Deputy Permanent Representative, with the personal rank of Ambassador, UK Mission to the United Nations in New York, and finally as Minister in Washington.

During his time in Washington, between 1975 and 1977, Britain was trying to revitalise transatlantic relations in the wake of Watergate . Despite the challenges of working, first, with an unelected president (Gerald Ford) and then with an untried one (Jimmy Carter), Moreton’s spell proved a success, and he orchestrated the Queen’s triumphant visit during America’s bicentennial celebrations in 1976.

At the conclusion of her stay the Queen appointed him KCVO, in a ceremony aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.

In retirement Moreton was director of the Wates Foundation (1978-88), managing its philanthropic activities on behalf of its trustees .

John Moreton married, in 1945, Peggy Fryer . She and their three daughters survive him.

Sir John Moreton, born December 28 1917, died October 14 2012

 May 10 2013

 That Battle under the Cherry Tree

Written by

Kishalay  Bhattacharya of the HINDU of May 8 2013

Below are the three  old photos

1/showing British and Indian Troops,

Second is Japanese and INA troops

                         Third is the Memorial with the famous words

                       "When you go home   
Tell them of us and say 
For your tomorrow 
we gave our Today

Britain’s twin battle against Japan-INA in Kohima and Imphal during the Second World War was recently voted its greatest. Here, journalist-author Kishalay Bhattacharya recalls hearing about the bloody war from eyewitnesses

Recently, U.K.’s National Army Museum conducted a poll on Britain’s greatest battle fought over the last 400 years. Waterloo, Aliwal, D-Day/Normandy, Rorke’s Drift and the twin battles of Imphal and Kohima were selected as the top five battles but in the last round, it threw up a name that came as a surprise to many. It voted outright Britain’s twin battles against Japan-INA (Indian National Army) fought in Kohima and Imphal in India during the Second World War as the greatest ever. 

It is interesting news considering most Indians are themselves not aware of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II fought on their soil, which if Japan had succeeded in winning, would have changed the fate of the Allied forces and may be Indian history. During my reportage in the North East, I came across some of the eyewitnesses of this battle. One of the affected villages was Maibam Lotpaching, just outside Imphal. I cannot exactly recollect the year but when I met Taoram Gourmohan Singh he was 74. He couldn’t remember the exact date but he recalled the time. It was a little past midnight when hundreds of Japanese soldiers arrived on foot. Gourmohan had gone into hiding when the entire village was evacuated and trenches were dug along his courtyard. The same courtyard where I met him.

He was a young boy when the Japanese army fell upon the main Allied advance base in Imphal. That was April 1944. The war was right at his doorstep — on the Red Hill where the British forces clashed with the advancing Japanese army.

“I was 12 then… there were about 300 Japanese soldiers on the hill … they reached at midnight on May 20 … they first fought in Moreh but couldn’t come to Imphal … so they took this route,” he said. Gourmohan Singh’s story came to me in bits and pieces. Age had blurred his memory but he recounted carrying water for some of the Japanese soldiers. Also, carefully tucked away in a loft in his outhouse was war memorabilia, rusted, but held very dear. “I love these articles. Japan had come for India’s independence, was fighting against the British, so I keep them with me. I treasure them,” he told me. He laid them out for me in the courtyard. Bullet shells, helmets and water flasks. 

It’s believed that Imphal was as bad for the Japanese as Flanders was for the Germans in WWI, for there on the bloody plain, 50,000 of the best of the Japanese army were killed. It was from the Red Hill — its supply lines cut off by a heavy monsoon — that the INA began its retreat just 10 kms short of Imphal, whose capture could have altered the course of Indian history. At least that is the claim many historians make today though there are doubts on how they might have been used by the Japanese except for generating rebellion among the Indians behind the British lines.

But the defeat of Red Hill didn’t send back the Japanese. They came close to the railhead in Assam after they took over Kohima. Without the bases in Assam they wouldn’t have been able to access a northern Burma supply route.

An eyewitness to this war in Kohima, Kuosa Kere, could still speak a smattering of Japanese when I met him. It was at Kigwema village near Kohima where General Saito, the famed Japanese commander, had stationed himself during the decisive siege of the hill town in World War II. From here, the Japanese opened attack and timed the assault at exactly 4 p.m. on ‘4.04.44’ (April 4, 1944). It lasted for two months. “It was a long war, we were warned by the Brits and were very apprehensive about the Japanese, but they were friendly. They lived with the families, paid for everything and unlike the British, they had no relationships with local women. They never misbehaved. General Saito was a very nice man. For us teenagers, the war was an adventure,” recalled Kuose Kere.

It was in June when the dangerous Japanese advance into the plains of India was finally halted by the British and the Indian forces. But what went down in history as Britain’s fiercest battles of World War II was fought on a tennis court adjoining the Deputy Commissioner’s bungalow in Kohima. As many as 1200 Indian and British soldiers who died fighting the Japanese have been laid to rest there with the famous lines engraved on a tombstone: “When you go home tell them of us and say, For your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

The tennis court battle was also called the Battle under the Cherry Tree. The cherry tree was a Japanese sniper post. The tree is no more but a branch of the historic tree has taken its place.

Reminiscing about the battle, once a war veteran standing in the middle of the Kohima War Cemetery, told me: “After several months, it was virtually over. We were repatriated home; we were on our way to Bombay when the atom bomb was dropped. It was all over. We don’t want it but we do need it sometimes … look at this. It’s the sad part, but anyway we came out victorious.” Tears rolled down his wrinkled cheeks.

Then there was Lily, a war-time nurse. Sitting on a tombstone, she broke down: “Sixty years ago, I was a nurse at the army-combined hospitals. So many young people had died, too many lives wasted, they died in my arms. And we still have wars.”

Fought between March 7 and July 18, 1944, the Battles of Imphal and Kohima came back to hit the headlines recently. And also to remind the eyewitnesses the times that were.

(The author’s book “Che in Paona Bazaar: Tales of Exile and Belonging from India’s North-East” (Pan Macmillan India) has a section with a detailed account of this little-known battle.)



2 Divs Last Salute to Kohima

june 23 2013


This page is dedicated to the final salute by 2 DIV'S 
veterans of Kohima and Imphal.

The Kohima Memorial service held in York on May 22 provided the
Editor with information the copies of which are shown below 

Part of this information is to tell people about
 the Kohima
Educational Trust and hopefully a few old KoiHai's may
contribute to this very worthwhile charity.

To obtain full information of the trust please go to

If you would like to help the trust please click here











 Above is the inside of the Kohima Museum leaflet


 Below you will see the  efforts being made to help the Nagas with education







           IF YOU and other Koi Hai's would like to help
                              please send cheques to


The Secretary

Kohima Educational Trust,
5, Beechwood Drive,
Marlow SL7 2DH