War  |  Memory  |  Gratitude

Sir Charles Pawsey and the Naga Hills

Sir Charles Pawsey and the Naga Hills WEBINAR


The Kohima Educational Trust is delighted to present this webinar with Dr Robert Lyman and guest speaker Steve White who is the Chairman of the KET.   

Charles Pawsey’s decision on 3rd April 1944 to stay at Kohima Ridge may well have tipped the balance against the Japanese. If he had left, support from local Nagas would have melted away. As it was, Nagas made heroic contributions.

Steve White will look at how he came to stay at his post, his background, what he did in India before the war as an officer of the Indian Civcil Service, and his life after the war. He was a quite remarkable man.

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


The photo, mentioned by Rob during the webinar: Robert Lyman with the late Lily Das (right) and Professor Alan McFarlane (left) with the Union Flag that flew over Charles Pawsey's bunker on Kohima ridge during the siege in 1944. It had been kept hidden in Kohima after the war.


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


Stephen White: After studying history at Cambridge University, Steve’s career included academic and professional publishing, and media intelligence.

He is now retired, but keeps busy with his family, especially his grandchildren, walking, reading, charitable work and playing the saxophone. He and Anne live in Oxfordshire.


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

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