Kohima War Cemetery

Memorial of Second World War martyrs

Author: TG Contributor
Date: 2020-05-09

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Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial dedicated to soldiers of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in the Second World War at Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, India, in April 1944. The soldiers died on the battleground of Garrison Hill in the tennis court area of the Deputy Commissioner's residence. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), which maintains this cemetery among many others in the world, there are 1,420 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War at this cemetery, and a memorial to an additional 917 Hindu and Sikh soldiers who were cremated in accordance with their faith. The memorial was inaugurated by Field Marshal Sir William Slim, then Commander of the 14th Army in Burma.

The Kohima War Cemetery is located in the center of Kohima city, capital of the Indian state of Nagaland, at the location where a decisive battle was won by the Allied Forces during the Second World War, forcing the Japanese army to retreat. This location is on the ridge below and above the tennis court. The cemetery is on the northern side of the Imphal-Dimapur road (State Highway 39) and 200 kilometres from the Indo-Burma border. Kohima is well-connected by air services from Calcutta, Delhi, and Guwahati. On land, the journey from Guwahati is long and arduous.

Kohima War Cemetery

Kohima War Cemetry

The cemetery is set in peaceful surroundings with well-manicured grassland in which roses bloom in season. The cemetery is sited at the exact location where the battle was fought, and provides a panoramic view of the town of Kohima. It is marked at its two ends by tall, concrete structures engraved with the cross. Between the two structures, along the sloping ground, a series of terraces of 3–5 metres in height have been created; these contain stone markers embedded with bronze plaques carrying the name of each Commonwealth soldier who died on the Kohima battlefield. These markers are made distinctly visible by a white wash.




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