British national Ellie Barrett pays respect to her great grandfather, William J Howard, at Kanglatongbi War Memorial in Manipur Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: British national Ellie Barrett travelled all the way from London to Manipur to trace her great grandfather’s roots. On Friday, she visited the Kanglatongbi War Memorial and paid her respect to William J. Howard.

As per reports, Howard died in the Battle of Imphal, 1944, and was buried at Kanglatongbi War Memorial in Manipur, along with several other martyrs.

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Speaking to EastMojo, Barrett said, “I always wanted to visit the place where my great grandfather fought in the war.”

Describing her journey as an adventurous one, Barrett said, “This can be described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have been meaning to visit the place for a long time now, and I finally made it.”

William J Howard fought in the Battle of Imphal, which took place in 1944. He was a part of the 221 Advance Ordnance Depot of the British Army which bravely fought the advances of the Imperial Japanese Army. Howard was buried at the Kanglatongbi War Memorial, along with other martyrs of the war.

In early April 1944, the Imperial Japanese Army were moving south on the Imphal-Kohima Road in their bid to capture the city of Imphal from the Allied forces. Led by Major Boyd, the small group of soldiers were able to halt the advance of the Japanese troops by three days, which ultimately helped in causing huge loss to the Japanese.

The battle is considered to be one of the boldest battles fought by the British troops during World War II, three significant medals were awarded to men involved, including the Military Cross, the Military Medal and the Indian Distinguished Service Medal.

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