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Tri-service museums and Commonwealth War Graves Commission mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day with virtual events programme ‘VJ75: Never Forgotten’

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Following the success of their VE Day Festival in May, The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), National Army Museum (NAM) and Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM) together with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC); are coming together in a unique collaboration to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day with a series of free virtual events for the public to engage with from the safety and comfort of their home.

Taking place from Friday 14 August to Sunday 16 August 2020, the ambitious commemorations will feature a variety of online talks and events which will explore the contribution of the British and Commonwealth forces during the Far East Campaign in the closing months of the Second World War.

Although victory had been declared in Europe, the gruelling fight against Japan continued. From 1941 to 1945, the British Commonwealth Forces alongside the allies fought a bitter campaign in Asia. The fighting took place over challenging terrain, from the jungles of Burma to the remote islands of the Pacific, and always against a tenacious enemy. Despite the extraordinary nature of the far eastern element of the conflict, it remains less well known or recognised than the European elements of the war.

The programme of online events will begin on Friday 14 August and will see the tri-service museums introduce the Far East Campaign and explore its vast geographical spread. They will also share the rediscovered stories of individual service personnel who fought during this period. These online videos will be available to view via the museums’ individual digital channels.

The programme continues on Saturday 15 August, the date of Japan’s surrender and the end of the Second World End, with ‘Never Forgotten: The War in the Far East and Modern Memory’. This exciting debate hosted by journalist and author Dr Shrabani Basu sees historians from the three museums and the CWGC discuss how the gruelling Far East Campaign was fought on land, sea and air and how it continues to be commemorated today. After the debate members of the public are invited to get involved in a live Q&A. This is a free event that will be broadcast on Crowdcast on Saturday 15 August at 2pm.

The final day of the commemorations on Sunday 16 August will see the three museums and the CWGC come together for the last time to discuss the popular cultural legacy of the war in the Far East. It will address topics such as why so many of our war films are only focussed on the war in Europe? And how the war is remembered today. Like the previous debate, this is also a free event that will be broadcast on Sunday 16 August at 2pm.

The full events programme can be found on the websites of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, the National Army Museum, the Royal Air Force Museum and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission by 10 August 2020.

The museums are encouraging those joining to share pictures on social media with the hashtags #VJDay75 #NeverForgotten

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