War  |  Memory  |  Gratitude

Sangshak - The First Battle for Kohima

Sangshak - The First Battle for Kohima 


The Kohima Educational Trust is delighted to present this webinar and to welcome back author and historian Harry Fecitt MBE, TD who, in conversation with Dr Robert Lyman, talks to us about Sanghshak - The First Battle for Kohima.

North east of Imphal, east of the road leading into the hills towards Kohima, lies a tangled mass of jungle covered hills in which one of the crucial battles for India was fought in the early days of the Japanese offensive in 1944. It centred around the Naga village of Sangshak.

We will hear about the key figures in this critical engagement, the vital decisions they took and the extreme bravery shown, against all the odds.

By holding up the advance on Kohima, the gallant defenders of Sangshak caused irreplaceable Japanese casualties and added several days to the advance on Kohima.

Those lost days were to prove a significant factor in the eventual Japanese defeat. Sangshak was the first battle for Kohima which is, of course, another story.

The recording of the webinar is now available to view below:



More Information on Sangshak:

Sangshak Awards by Harry Fecitt MBE, TD
Dr Robert Lyman's blog The War Room on Sangshak


Our speakers:


Dr Robert Lyman - Military Historian, Author and Trustee of KET

Born in New Zealand in January 1963 and educated in Australia, Robert Lyman was, for twenty years, an officer in the British Army. Educated at Scotch College, Melbourne he was commissioned into the Light Infantry from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in April 1982. In addition to a business career he is an author and military historian, publishing books in particular on the war in the Far East. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Robert is married to Hannah, has two sons, and lives in Berkshire. For information about Robert's publications please visit his website: robertlyman.com


Harry Fecitt MBE, TD is a former British Army infantry officer. In his retirement he has taken a keen interest in the less-well-known incidents in British military history, researching and writing for several military journals. His aim is to emphasize the forgotten contributions and sacrifices made by the soldiers of former British Imperial territories who volunteered to serve the British Crown. He is the co-athor (with Charles Chasie) of The Road to Kohima: The Naga experience in the Second World War, a fascinating account of the war recounted, for the first time, from the perspective of the Naga people. Copies are available on the KET website. He is also the author of Sideshows of the Indian Army in World War 1 and Distant Battlefields: The Indian Army in the Second World War.


Sylvia May - CEO of The Kohima Educational Trust

Sylvia May was born in New Jersey, USA in 1957. Her parents moved to England in 1963. Educated at High Wycombe School for Girls, she decided to pursue a career in the world of books. Sylvia worked for HarperCollins for 37 years, the last eleven of which she headed up their UK-based International Sales team. Sylvia May is the daughter of the late Gordon Graham, Founder and President of the Kohima Educational Trust. She is proud that her father has inspired many people to share his vision to commemorate those who fought and died in Kohima, and the wonderful Naga people who have done so much for the British in the past. She first visited India in 1994 with her husband Robert, and has returned on numerous occasions, staying in Kohima several times. In 2000, they followed the WWII route of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, her father’s regiment. The regiment’s first main engagement in this theatre of war was at Zubza shortly before the Battle of Kohima.

Read more

A real tennis court battle which changed history
by Brian Farmer BBC News, Norfolk
Kohima 80th Anniversary Remembrance, York
80th Anniversary events to commemorate the battles of Kohima & Imphal
80th Anniversary Gala Dinner, York
Guest speaker, General The Lord Richard Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL

Consider donating a KET scholarship