Posted on 31st Aug 2023 by Mark Seymour
The Chindit and Burma Star Memorial Day took place at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) in August.
Among the Veterans and serving personnel who gathered to pay their respects was Burma Star Memorial Fund Trustee Vikas Krishan who gave the Exhortation at the start of the Act of Remembrance at the Burma Star Memorial Grove inside the NMA.
The event, organised by Paul Corden and Paul Shenton, included Rifle buglers and flypasts by a USAF Hercules and Osprey, and an RAF Spitfire.
Burma Star Veteran Richard Day (Royal Welch Fusiliers) played a prominent part in the proceedings, saying the Kohima Epitaph in front of both the Chindit Memorial and the Burma Star Memorial – particularly appropriate, as his Battalion, the 1st Royal Welch Fusiliers, relieved the Royal West Kents at Kohima when the siege was broken in April 1944.
Richard was joined by fellow Burma Star Veterans - Sid Machin (1st King’s (Liverpool) – Chindit), Robbie Robertson (RAF – Chindit) and George Durrant (Int Corps). The four of them are pictured below with representatives from the USAF 352d Special Operations Wing (352 SOW), based at RAF Mildenhall. Their forefathers were the USAAF Air Commandos who provided air support to the Chindits and others in India and Burma in 1944. Pictured in the red beret is the Wing Commander, Colonel Mark McGill, with Capt Clifton Hanson, the 352 SOW Chaplain, who conducted the Services at each memorial, pictured to his left, and Chief Master Sergeant Ralph Oliver, the Wing Command Chief, piuctured to his right.
Another of the Charity’s Trustees, Jeremy Archer, attended the VJ-Day Service on the Isle of Wight. During the Service he gave a eulogy for Burma Veteran Harry Aiken who died earlier in the year.