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 thirty-one. Interlude
caption: relief of Kohima; Assam Rifles
medium: books
person: Tibbetts/ Lt.Riki RamSupbahadur Rana
location: Kohima
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: (219) Then Kohima was relieved. The story of its amazing defence has never been properly told yet, and should be.
text: The relief removed the Japs from one of the roads converging on us, and it added to Laisong a half-section of the 3rd Assam Rifles, fresh from the siege and in tearing spirits. Lieutenant Tibbetts, a " V " Force officer who had also been through the siege, brought them up and left them, and they took their boots off and went to bed for forty-eight hours. When they had done that and emerged again, they cleaned everything till it glistened and then looked round for some more Japs.
text: Lance-Naik Supbahadur Rana and Rifleman Riki Ram (commonly known as Mickey Mouse, whom he much resembled; a thin boy in large boots, with a heroic tenacity; be it feet or fever, you never lost Riki Ram - he always came up in the end, still limping, still game) were Gurkhas. The other four were Nagas, three Lhotas and one Ao. Their morale was most heartening. They knew they had the measure of the Jap, and all they wanted to do was to go and kill some more as soon as possible.
text: We had rather the same idea ourselves, but unfortunately there were no Japs. By that time we were not only in touch with a few of the Zemi villages beyond the Jiri, but were in wireless communication with Tamenglong, and knew, through them, that the Japs were now well back of the Barak and in the area behind and about Kangpokpi.
text: Our W/T was a gift from 14th Army. Scotty had thumped on desks at Army H.Q., and they had created - this with the (220) invasion in full swing, the siege of Kohima in progress, and every possible commitment on their hands - out of bits and pieces and reinforcement camps, a W/T net with stations at Silchar, Tamenglong, Nungba and Laisong. That 14th Army could find the time in such a crisis to help an outlying sideshow like ours was an index of what it was.