The Battle of Kohima: Sitrep 1RWF(Royal Welch Fusiliers) 2 May 1944 – 2200hrs
At 1800hrs yesterday evening 2 x Hurribombers (Converted Hurricanes), bombed and strafed Kukis Piquet. 2 x Bombs landed on the RWF positions on Garrison Hill, additionally C Company and Bn HQ were subjected to friendly fire strafing! 1 x 250lb UXB later detonated by the Royal Engineers.
Harold Jones, a current member of Welshpool RWF Comrades Association was at the latrine when the bombing run started. I had a drink with him last night 70yrs on, he’s in good spirits and very healthy for his age. He remembers this night very clearly.
Looking through his written account of the 2nd May 1944 he recalls that the guys had been briefed that anyone above ground after dark that evening should be considered enemy and shot. So just before dark, he visited the latrine and was making his way to his dugout when the earth in front of him started ripping up. He was spun around and thrown to the ground.
Harold was wounded in the arm. The Padre helped him to the dressing station where he was bandaged up and then placed in a trench, without his weapon, his arm in a sling, to await evacuation in the morning.
During the night the enemy breached Garrison Hill by the cookhouse and although the Fusiliers managed to fight them off. Harold still recalls how scared he was, sat in the bottom of the trench, watching the enemy running past his trench. He describes it as the longest night of his life.
Harold was a signaller with B Company, that wound almost certainly saved his life, over the next three days many of Harold’s friends would die on Kohima Ridge.