Britain's Greatest Battle Tour of Imphal, Kohima, Dimapur & Kolkata
Small Group tour Led by Robert (Bob) Cook
From Wednesday 15 April - Sunday 26 April 2020
Following the success of this tour in April 2019, we are operating it again in April 2020, due to popular demand - spaces are limited!
Trip scholar Robert (Bob) Cook - Curator Kohima Museum, York
Robert (Bob) Cook retired as a Warrant Officer from the British Army after 34 years. His family has a long almost unbroken line of military service dating back alhmost 170 years.
Since retirement from the army Bob has operated a busy Bed & Breakfast in York, U.K. together with his wife. Amongst other interests, Bob is the volunteer curator of the 2nd Infantry Division Kohima Museum Trust also located in York. It was in this role that Bob first visited the battlefields of Kohima in 2008 and has since been back another 8 times leading military and civilian groups to explain and explore the many different aspects of what is probably the most important unknown battle of WW2. During his visits to Kohima, Bob’s knowledge and understanding of the Battle has steadily increased as has his liking for the friendly Naga Hill people of Nagaland in North East India.
In addition to being the curator, Bob is also a Trustee of the Kohima Educational Trust which aims to repay the debt of gratitude owed by the British veterans to the Naga Hill people for their unstinting aid and assistance against the Japanese Imperial Army. One of the ways of repaying this debt of gratitude is by sponsoring the education of the Naga children aged 14 – 16.
Bob is also the deputy chairman of the Burma Campaign Society which aims to improve and enhance the reconciliation between Japan and the U.K. In this role he has also visited Japan in company with a British army veteran of the battle to visit and pay respects to Japanese veterans of the Burma campaign and to visit the grave of Lieutenant General Kotoku Sato who commanded the 31st Japanese Division at Kohima.
London • Kolkata • Imphal • Kohima • Dimapur • Kolkata • London
Day 1 - 15 April 2020 / From London Heathrow To Imphal via Kolkata
Departure from London Heathrow airport with Emirates Airlines EK002 at 14.20 via Dubai.
Flights from other regional UK airports i.e. Gatwick, Manchester, New Castle, Glasgow are available on request.
Day 2 - 16 April 2020 / Kolkata / Imphal
Arrive Kolkata 09:05 for your ownward flight to Imphal, Fly to Imphal AI 713. Arrive Imphal 11.45 meet and transfer to Classic Grande hotel for 3 nights.
Visit to Kangla Fort – home of the ancient Rulers of Manipur. Also visit Slims Cottage
Day 3 - 17 April 2020 / Imphal
Visit to the Nunshigum ridge to explain the intense battle that took place here which was the ‘saving’ of Imphal.
Visit to the Imphal War cemetery
Day 4 - 18 April 2020 / Imphal
Day visit to the site of Battle of Sangshak – this battle had a direct effect on the Battle of Kohima and a great influence on the Battle of Imphal.
Day 5 - 19 April 2020 / Imphal / Kohima
Early start today as we depart by road to Kohima (4-5 hours). A short stop at Kanglatongbi to explain the significance of the Lion Box Battle. (A small cemetery to explore here as well). Arrival in Kohima, check in at Hotel Vivor for 3 nights
Day 6 to 8 - 20 to 22 April 2020 / Kohima
Over the next two days explore all the Battle sites at Kohima. Bob will assist in directing the participants towards the areas that are of interest to them.
- Naga Village and the Memorial to the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders – Point 5120.
- The Kohima War Cemetery
- The Museum of the War and the Heritage Village
- The Cathedral
- The external War Memorials to the Royal Scots, the Durham Light Infantry, The Punjabs, the Assam Rifles, the Royal Norfolk’s and Assam Regiment
- The Battle for the Daily Issue Store feature
- The Kohima Ridge.
- The Tank
- Merema Ridge
- Jotsoma and Mount Pulebadze
Day 9 - 23 April 2020 / Kohima / Dimapur
Drive to Dimapur, en-route we will be visiting Bunker Hill, Zubza & Dimapur Railhead . One night stay in Dimapur at Naithu Resort.
Day 10 - 24 April 2020 / Dimapur / Kolkata
Afternoon flight from Dimapur Airport to Kolkata. Depart Dimapur with Air India flight AI-710 15.25 arrive Kolkata 16:50.
Transfer to The Oberoi Grand Hotel for 2 nights’ stay. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 11 - 25 April 2020 / Kolkata
Full day sightseeing of Kolkata covering, Dalhouise Square with Raj Bhavan, St John’s Church, High Court, General Post Office, Town Hall and other colonial buildings). Victoria Memorial, Flower Market, Howrah Bridge, Mother Teresa House, St. Paul’s Cathedral Church and South Park Street Cemetery.
Day 12 - 26 April 2020 / From Kolkata to London Heathrow Via Dubai
Transfer to Kolkata airport for flight to London Heathrow with Emirates Airlines EK057 09.45 via Dubai. Arrival into London Heathrow airport at 20.15. Timings for regional UK airports will vary.
During the various stands, Bob will provide detailed background information on a variety of subjects which will cover.
- Why Imphal? - Why Kohima?
- Allied and Imperial Japanese Army battle doctrines
- Differences in Logisitc preparation
- Differences in Leadership methods
- Command & Control
- Air resupply and Troop movements
- Health & Medical issues.
The Kohima Museum
When the British 2nd Division returned to the UK from Germany in 1982, they began to hold annual reunions in York for the men who fought and defeated the Japanese Imperial forces at Kohima in North East India and beyond into Burma. These veterans brought along artefacts and memorabilia from those times. Eventually these items were formed into a formal museum in 1992, which today is the only museum in the UK that commemorates and focuses entirely on the Burma Campaign. It is only one of two known globally to do this. The Kohima Museum is located within Imphal barracks in the beautiful city of York and is open to the public each Thursday morning and at other times by prior appointment. The museum consists of soldiers’ medals and awards and personal items as well as operational diaries and accounts; uniforms and a small reference library.
Kohima Educational Trust
Kohima, a town set high among jungle covered hills in Nagaland in North East India near the border with Burma, was the site of one of the most crucial battles of World War 2. In April 1944, it was besieged by the 31st Division of the Japanese Imperial Army spearheading what they hoped would be the invasion of India. The defenders, just 1500 men of the Royal West Kents, the Assam Regiment and the Assam Rifles, held out for 2 weeks until relieved by the men of the British 2nd Division. The ensuing battle, fought for the most part hand to hand with no quarter asked or given for 2 months was a turning point of the war in Asia.
The town of Kohima was completely destroyed, but this did not stop the Naga population from offering unstinting support to the British and Indian troops. Without this help, it is doubtful if the battle could have been won.
Sixty years after the battle a group of Kohima Veterans formed a charity with the aim to express the gratitude to the descendants of the Nagas who had fought alongside the British in this epic battle. This gratitude was to be expressed by assisting with the education of those descendants
- How to Book this Tour
- Travel Insurance
- International and internal air fares inclusive of all taxes in economy class. Upgrade class available upon request and subject to availability
- Accommodation with private facilities as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Meal Plan: Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner in Imphal & Kohima. Kolkata on Bed & Breakfast basis.
- A transfers and sightseeing arrangements by an air-conditioned chauffer driven private vehicles.
- Entrance fee to all monuments and places of interest.
- Services of a local English speaking guide.
- Services of Mr Robert Cook as tour leader.
- Complimentary mineral water while driving and on sightseeing.
- Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.
- A contribution of £25 per person will be made to The Kohima Museum.
Cost does not include:
Visa fee for India. E-tourist visa fee for India is USD (approx GBP £20). We will send you a step by step guide how to apply for online E-tourist visa.
Travel Insurance. You can obtain a competitive price for travel insurance from
Travel & General see link to Travel Insurance
Any expense of a personal nature
Tips and Gratuities
- To book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £500.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.
- If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.
It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
- It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
- It provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
- It covers you for all activities.
- Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
- Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
- If you are making multiple trips we recommend that you take a yearly travel insurance policy.