Nicky was adopted, and the film followed his adopted family, and featured a section on the involvement of Nicky’s father in what is known as “the forgotten war” against Japan in India, and in particular at the Battle of Kohima. This was a critical battle of the Burma Campaign, fought from April 4 to June 22, 1944. It marked the end of the Japanese offensive in India and was described as the “Stalingrad of the East”.
The British and Indian forces lost around 4,000 men, dead, missing and wounded. The Japanese had lost more than 5,000 men in the Kohima area fighting.
I was reminded that Private John Snowden Jackson Daglish of the Durham Light Infantry lost his life at Kohima on 22 April 1944. John was the son of Septimus Joshua Daglish and Hannah Jackson, and was born in Gateshead - but his family was originally from Morpeth. When he died he was 32, and he left a wife Amelia and a young son. Some ten years later Amelia married George Septimus Daglish, John’s younger brother.
John is buried in the Kohima War Cemetery (see picture below). The cemetery is completely terraced and contains 1,420 Commonwealth burials. At the lower end of the cemetery, near the entrance, is a memorial to the 2nd Division. It bears the inscription:
When you go home
Tell them of us and say:
For your tomorrow
We gave our today