43 Naga WW-II veterans restored with gallantry awards
Kohima, April 18: Nagaland government will focus on promoting war tourism as a yearlong activity in commemoration of 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Kohima in the State.
Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said this during the “restoring Gallantry Award medals and certificates to descendents of 43 Naga World War-II veterans” at Hotel Vivor here today.
The programme was organized by Kohima Education Society in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Battle of Kohima.
Toy said the Battle of Kohima has changed the history of the Nagas but also of the world and there the State government thought it fitting to set activities for yearlong commemoration, which started on April 4 last under the theme “Remembrance, Reconciliation and Rebirth”.
He said many Nagas had rendered their services in various capacities during the Second World War and were honoured by the British government, but many of the descendants may not have been aware of the due recognition.
In order to reconstruct and remember the contribution of their parents and grandparents the award programme has been organized, he said while expressing hope that such initiative would revive their family history and memories, which would live on forever.
Author and Member of Kohima Education Society, Charles Chasie said the history of discovering the Naga gallantry award winners and recovery of the documents and medals has been started during the observation of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kohima.
He informed that Royal Commonwealth Ex Services League (RCEL) and Kohima Educational Trust in the UK helped in getting the replica medals for the Naga war veterans, who had lost their medals and documents of honour in the intervening years.
Chasie said 69 Gallantry Awards won by Naga soldiers during the 2nd World War were traced out and hoped to uncover more who had won the Gallantry awards.
Chairman of Kohima Education Society, Dr P Ngully said “this year, as we observe the yearlong anniversary of the Battle, it is most appropriate to acknowledge and remember those who gave their best for our today”.
Many of them are not with us anymore but their legends live on to inspire and shape our society, he said, adding that “they deserve our utmost recognition for their umpteen services rendered for our people during their times.”
The least that can be done is to restore the gallantry award bestowed upon them for the exceptional endeavours in line of their duties, Ngully added.
The Chief Secretary along with Curator Kohima Museum, York, Bob Cook handed over the gallantry award medals and certificates to the descendants of Naga war veterans.
The categories of awards were – Order of British Empire and Member of the British Empire, British Empire Medal, Military Cross, Military Medal and others. (Page News Service)