‘39 Hours - Walking in my Grandfather’s footsteps’

British team during 39-hour walk in their stop over at Losatephe in Phek district on April 2.

British team during 39-hour walk in their stop over at Losatephe in Phek district on April 2.

Our Correspondent
Kohima | April 2

The British team has begun their journey of 39 hours walk from Jessami (Manipur) and part of Phek district (Nagaland) from April 1.

This 39 hours walk is The Kohima Education Trust Trustee, Charlotte Carty’s mission to remember her grandfather Lt Col ‘Bruno’ Brown, CO 1st Assam Regiment, Battle of Kohima 1944. 

Highlighting about the ‘39 Hours - Walking in my Grandfather’s footsteps,’ The Kohima Educational Trust update on its official website states, 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,” states Charlotte.

She adds, “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.”

“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,” she added. 

Meanwhile, Charlotte has stated that their visit aims to highlight the achievements of all the forces who fought at Kohima. The walk is part of the upcoming commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the battle schedule to hold two days of events at the National Army Museum in London from April 20-21, 2024.

It may be mentioned that the team was accorded a warm welcome by Chakhesang Public Organization (CPO) at Phek village on March 31. MLA Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu and Leader NPF legislature Party also addressed the gathering.

The team moved to Jessami via Lanezho the same day (March 31). The team will traverse Lozaphuhu, Losami, Chizami, Losatephe, Pfutsero, Kikruma, Kezo Town, Chedema etc. The team is expected to reach Kohima on April 3. They will also visit Kohima Cemetery.

It may be mentioned that on March 28, 1944, the first battalion of the Assam Regiment fought a fierce battle with the Japanese 31 Division.