Memorial on 100th anniversary of NLC in France
Kohima, April 20, 2017: This year is the 100th Year Anniversary of the participation of the Naga Labour Corps in France. Around 2000 Nagas seemed to have been recruited and were designate as the Naga Labour Corps, numbered as the 35th 36th 37th and 38th (Naga) Labour Companies. Their services were utilised in Mametz, Le Transloy, Haute Avesnes, Contalmaison and Guillemont on salvage work, road repairs among others.
In particular, the 35th Coy left the Naga Hills as part of the Labour Corps on the 21st April 1917 and sailed for France on the 26thApril. Subsequently, after the war, the 35th Coy moved to Marseille in April 1918 from where they embarked for India at the end of May arriving back in India in June 1918.
Through their exposure during WW I involvement, the Nagas realized the need to organize and unite themselves, and on their return from France, formed a socio-political association called the Naga Club with branches in Kohima and Mokokchung in 1918. In 1929, Naga Club sent a representation to the Simon Commission asserting for the right of self-determination, in the event the British leaves India. Thus, the state of Nagaland, has its direct bearings to the Naga Labour Corps of WW I, and their brave venture must be remembered appropriately for posterity.
There is no known Memorial to commemorate the valuable contributions of the persons who formed part of NAGA LABOUR CORPS, many of whom died fighting in France, for fostering Fraternity among the NAGAS. Therefore, the Government of Nagaland has decided to set up a befitting Memorial Park on the 100th year Anniversary, in honour of the Naga Labour Corps on the hillock opposite the Red Cross building (near Classic Island)
The Memorial Monolith will be unveiled by the Chief Minister Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu in a function at 1:00 P.M on the 21st April, 2017 at the proposed site.