Next Thursday, July 18, sees the commemoration of the Battle of Imphal, March to July 1944,  following on from that held on June 22 for the Battle of Kohima.

Both battles were seen as the turning points of one of the most arduous campaigns of the Second World War which saw the decisive defeats of the Japanese Army. Imphal is the regional capital of Manipur in North East India, thereby lying to the south of Kohima;  Japanese armies attempted to destroy Allied forces at both battles in order to implement a plan to invade India but were driven back into Burma, thus marking the springboard for the British Fourteenth Army, under Bill Slim, to reconquer Burma.

The programme of commemorations, all of which are held at the War Memorial at the Sidmouth Parish church, has been drawn up by the local branches of the Royal British Legion, the Royal Naval Old Comrades Association and Sidmouth Town Council in recognition of all those who fought so bravely at such encounters, alas some who made the ultimate sacrifice: consideration is being given for a research project to be instigated on the links with those who resided in the Sid Valley in relation to the events listed in the aforementioned programme, of which an update will follow in due course.

The parade will muster in the Market Place at 10:30am next Thursday and step off marching up Church Street for the commemoration to commence at 11am, which all will be welcome to attend.