Imphal, Feb 13: A commemoration program with wreath laying activity was performed at the plane crash site of General Orde Charles Wingate on February 10, 2018. The site is located near village Thiulon in Tousem sub-division, Tamenglong District. The commemoration was participated by representatives of “The Chindit Society, United Kingdom” represented by Yumnam Rajeshwor Singh and his team, ADC members of the concern area, Micah Panmei, The village Chairman Rampisinang Kahmei and the villagers. They all maintain one minute silence and followed by condolence prayer, offered by the Village Pastor. The Chindit Society’s membership includes the families of Chindits, together with those who have an interest in the Far East theatre of war, the campaigns in Burma and the remarkable contribution made by the Chindit Long Range Penetration Groups. The Society has Holly Wingate (Orde Wingate’s daughter-in-law) as President and Alice Wingate (Wingate’s grand-daughter) as Vice-President.
General Orde Charles Wingate was a British General who started the Chindits who made Long range penetration behind the Japanese lines during the defeat of British in Burma during 1943. He was born in India in 1903 at Nainital in the then United Provinces. He went back to England with his family and lived at Godalming in Surrey, and he himself was eventually educated at Charterhouse. Wingate’s idea was to put soldiers behind the Japanese lines to sow confusion amongst their lines of communication and also to strike back at them at a time when they were carrying all before them. His ”Chindits,” or “Wingate’s Raiders,” a brigade of British, Gurkha, and Burmese guerrillas, harassed much stronger Japanese forces in the jungles of northern Burma (now Myanmar) during World War II.
He died in a plane crash on 24th March 1944 near the village of Thiulon in Tamenglong District. On 24th March 1944 Wingate flew into Broadway in a B-25 Mitchell bomber from 1st Air Commandos. From there he visited the White City and Aberdeen Strongholds. After returning to Broadway he flew on to Imphal to meet Air Marshall Baldwin and from there he set off back to Lalaghat. Wingate’s plane crashed on the return journey in the hills around Tamenglong. All on board were killed including a number of war correspondents. Wingate’s death was a serious blow to the Chindits and changed the course of the rest of the Chindit campaign.
The villagers of Thuilon have agreed to commemorate 24th March every year as the death anniversary of General Charles Orde Wingate. The road from Tamenglong HQ to Thuilon is hardly 40 km, but due to the bad road condition it took 4 hours to reach the village from Tamenglong HQ. At present there is no electricity in the village as the only transformer is not functional since last year. The village produces lots of oranges, yongchak, vegetables and U- Morok. But due to high transportation cost, not much benefit is received by the villagers.