Today – 22 June is Imphal Day

In June 1944 the 1st Battalion and the 2nd Battalion of The West Yorkshire Regiment were serving in Burma with the 5th Indian Division.  The Japanese attacked both divisions in the Arakan in an attempt to force their way through to India.  In the face of ferocious attacks, the 2nd Battalion held its ground for 25 days disrupting the Japanese offensive; The corps commander said “Never has any regiment counter-attacked so successfully and so often as in that battle.  It is rare in history that one regiment can be said to have turned the scale of a whole campaign.”  On the 22nd June 1944 the siege was lifted but throughout 1944 and in 1945 both battalions were engaged in further heavy fighting close by one another.  The series of battles in 1944 where the two battalions were together for the first time in half a century were considered to be of such significance that after the war, 22nd June became Imphal Day and is celebrated annually by The RoyalYorkshire Regiment