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We are indebted come Derek Lawbuary who has been may be to find out the beginnings of the Kohima Epitaph:-


The Kohima second Division Memorial is maintained by the republic War tombs Commission on instead of 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 actually invaded India in in march 1944 in procedure U-Go. Kohima, the capital of Nagaland was a an important to regulate of the area and in fierce fighting the Japanese finally withdrew from the area in June of the year.

You are watching: When you go home tell them of us

The Memorial itself is composed of a huge monolith of Naga rock such together is provided to mark the tombs of dead Nagas. The stone is collection upright on a dressed stone pedestal, the overall height being 15 feet. A small cross is carved at the top of the monolith and also below this a bronze panel is inset. The panel bears the inscription

“When You walk Home, Tell them Of Us and Say,For your Tomorrow, We provided Our Today”

The words room attributed to john Maxwell Edmonds (1875 -1958), an English Classicist, who had actually put castle together among a repertoire of 12 epitaphs for world War One, in 1916.

According to the Burma Star association the indigenous were supplied for the Kohima Memorial as a ide by major John Etty-Leal, the GSO II the the 2nd Division, an additional classical scholar.

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

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

The lines from the famous Kohima EpitaphSome added background about the epitaph,it’s origins and also the Kohima fight history.


This famous epitaph is discovered on many Veteran Memorials and also Monuments transparent the world. The is also found on countless internet websites because that veterans ranging from India, Australia, UK, United states and an extremely likely top top non-English veteran websites as well.

In almost all instances the words point out the beginning as being from the Kohima Epitaph. Although the memorial is the many well known, the lines pre-date the inscription on the WWII memorial.

I have actually assembled several of the material from my internet search below. Numerous of which cite John Maxwell Edmonds as the original writer of those lines.

I have presented material right here from a couple of internet sources. Again, for the factor that resources on the web often blink off and are lost. The copied versions space presented here exclusively for informational and educational objective with no intent to plagiarize.

It is mine opinion that the lines of that epitaph are few of the many moving present written about veterans. Castle state very succintly what the is the each veteran offered to his other citizens, i.e. Every one of their tomorrows.

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It additionally seems fitting the Mr. Edmonds, who wrote those renowned lines, need to be cited together the author.

(Note, that in countless of the price quotes the epitaph reads “your tomorrow” vs “their tomorrow”. The is thought that Edmonds’ initial poem provided “their”. Any type of authoritative reference to clarification that suggest would also be appreciated.)

Please inform me of any other relevant sources to Mr. Edmonds’ penning of these now well known lines.Send details here

Thank you

Sid Harrison18 march 2001

Our thanks to David Lock for this photograph showing the wording the the Kohima Epitaph in the Kohima battle Cemetery