War  |  Memory  |  Gratitude

Sherborne School: The Battle of Kohima and Beyond to Burma

Sherborne School: The Battle of Kohima and Beyond to Burma


The Kohima Educational Trust is delighted to welcome back our trustee Charlotte Carty as guest speaker for this webinar about Sherborne School.

This is the story of how Old Shirburnians were involved in the Burma theatre of war from 1944 as part of Britain's Forgotten Army. The presentation will focus in particular on old boys at the Battle of Kohima but will also cover others involved in Slim's Fourteenth Army across a range of regiments and services, including the Chindits.

Known as 'The Stalingrad of the East’ due to the 'backs-to-the-wall' defence, the Battle of Kohima marked the first defeat of the Japanese on land in Asia during the Second World War. It was a turning point in the war. Many miles from their alma mater in Sherborne town, Dorset, Old Shirburians were caught up in Britain's Greatest Battle, as voted for by the National Army Museum in 2013. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the fighting there.

Those who made the ultimate sacrifice are commemorated on the Memorial Wall in Sherborne School chapel but others were also fighting there, caught up in one of the fiercest battles of the war. The courage, bravery and tenacity of these old boys must never be forgotten.

The recording is now available to watch below:




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


Charlotte Carty - Charlotte's initial interest in the Battle of Kohima was due to her grandfather's involvement there as Commanding Officer of the Assam Regiment. Through her research into his war, Charlotte found the Kohima Educational Trust and subsequently became a Trustee. She also worked within the Admissions Department of Sherborne Prep School for many years during which time she learnt of the key involvement of the Dorset Regiment at the Battle of Kohima. Working with the inimitable Rachel Hassell, archivist at Sherborne School, details of how involved Old Shirburnians were in this critical theatre of the war have begun to be rediscovered.


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.

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