The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter twenty-nine. Crisis
caption: meeting at Mahur
medium: books
location: Mahur
date: 1.4.1944
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: I'd had a brief note from Perry by then, summoning me to Mahur on April 1st for a conference. I found him at the rest-house. Any troops that anyone could lay hands on, sections of this, platoons of that, Railway Maintainance Units, Railway Defence Troops - anything that could march and hold a rifle was being pressed into use. Mahur Station was full of dim groups, shapeless droves of men, standing, or stumping off to some place allotted.
text: We conferred in the rest-house, in a tiny lamplit room. Numbers of officers, all strangers; perfunctory introductions. The sum total was that the Japs were probably coming, but we didn't know where. We'd got to find out, as there weren't enough troops to protect the length of the line. There was no Wireless communication, either. We used the railway telephone, with code-words, as the clerks all down the line listened. " One elephant " meant " ten Japs ". Then somebody caused confusion right and left by turning up on the Silchar border with forty genuine elephants. (208) It was decided to send out a patrol at company strength next day, to see if we could find those fifty Japs. If they were coming at all, they ought to be near by now. Finding the enemy was " V " Force job. Though my immediate C.O., Binny, was out of touch in Imphal, I could still communicate with main H.Q. in Comilla, where it had gone along with Army Headquarters. I hadn't the least idea whether Colonel Scott would back me or order me out forthwith.
text: I thought the odds in favour of the latter. I signalled to say I was going with the patrol, and asked H.Q. to send me thirty rifles, with which I proposed to arm the pick of the Watch and Ward scouts.