War  |  Memory  |  Gratitude

39 Hours - Walking in my Grandfather's footsteps

39 Hours - Walking in my Grandfather's footsteps


KET Trustee Charlotte Carty's mission to remember her Grandfather, Lt Col William Felix "Bruno" Brown.

In Charlotte's own words:

"My Grandfather, Lt Col William Felix (‘Bruno’) Brown, was the Commanding Officer of the First Assam Regiment at the time of the Battle of Kohima in 1944. 

I became particularly interested in the withdrawal back to Kohima of the Assam Regiment from the village of Jessami, where fierce preliminary contact had been made with the invading Japanese. This withdrawal, on foot, was over a distance of some 29 miles as the crow flies, and some 60 miles along the paths and tracks, across sub-Himalayan terrain, in frequent contact with the Japanese. The Regiment achieved this in 39 hours, with some 260 men making it through to bolster the thin defences at Kohima. They started at midnight on 1st April and arrived at Kohima 39 hours later at 3pm on 3rd April 1944."

The blue dot on the map below indicates the location of the village of Jessami and shows Kohima to the West.


Charlotte continues:

"As part of the 80th anniversary of the battle in 2024, I am seeking to recreate this walk to highlight the achievements of all of the forces who fought at Kohima, and to remember the local Naga people who were so vital in the campaign and in particular the fighting withdrawal of the Assam Regiment back to Jessami."

Below photos shows Charlotte on a recent visit to Kohima laying a wreath at Jessami and the third photo shows Charlotte (right) at the memorial to the Second Division which is located in the war cemetery at Kohima. 

Find Charlotte on social media to hear updates about plans for her next trip to Kohima:

Follow Charlotte on Instagram
Dr Robert Lyman writes about the walk


To hear more the the story, watch the webinar that KET hosted on this fascinating history of Charlotte's grandfather and see Charlotte in conversation with Dr Robert Lyman:

Saving Kohima: the role of the Assam Regiment 1944


Find out more about Charlotte's grandfather via the button below which links to our friend and supporter Harry Fecitt's excellent work on the subject.

The advance toward Kohima - Harry Fecitt

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