VETERANS and residents gathered at St Mary’s Church in Charminster to pay their respects to fallen servicemen of the 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment, 70 years after the Battle of Kohima in the Second World War.

The Battle of Kohima, fought in three stages from April 4 to June 22 1944, in the Naga Hills of Assam, prevented the Japanese from breaking into India from Burma during the U Go offensive.

The 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment played a pivotal role towards the end of the battle, capturing hillside terrain and clearing Kohima Ridge which eventually led to a Japanese defeat.

The battalion memorial in Charminster was built by survivors as a tribute to those who had been killed.

The plaque includes the motto of the Society of Dorset Men which the servicemen had proudly adopted: “Who’s afear’d?’.

A service of remembrance held by the Rev Peter Jones took place at the battalion war memorial in the churchyard.

After the service his wife Anne Jones, a trumpeter with the Durnovarian Silver Band, played The Last Post and Paul Snow laid a floral tribute on the war memorial on behalf of the Society of Dorset Men.