E for Epitaph



This is the famous epitaph on one of the war memorials in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, India.

The epitaph says

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

The Kohima 2nd Division Memorial is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on behalf of the 2nd Infantry Division. The memorial remembers the Allied dead who repulsed the Japanese 15th Army, a force of 100,000 men, who had invaded India in March 1944 in Operation U-Go. Kohima was a vital to control of the area and in fierce fighting the Japanese finally withdrew from the area in June of that year.

According to the Burma Star Association the words were used for the Kohima Memorial as a suggestion by Major John Etty-Leal, the GSO II of the 2nd Division.

This is thought to have been inspired by the Greek lyric poet Simonides of Ceos (556-468 BC) who wrote after the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC:

“Go tell the Spartans, thou that passest by,
That faithful to their precepts here we lie.”

Link for ABC Wednesday


6 thoughts on “E for Epitaph

    • I know I have seen your pic. by the way when you search for images on Kohima epitaph your picture comes in the list too. Somewhere in the second page. I thought I could use your pic but I was a little short on time and didn’t have time to ask so I just used a more generic one 🙂

  1. Touching and yet fills us with pride that there are people who lay there life for others. Hats off to each soldier and yes let us not forget any of the saceifises made by them.

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