As Europe celebrated the surrender of German forces on VE Day, thousands of British, Commonwealth and Allied Armed Forces personnel were still involved in bitter fighting in the Far East. This included three battalions of the Border Regiment, the local infantry regiment, and the 51st Field Regiment, Royal Artillery known as the ‘Cumberland Gunners.’
On Saturday 15 August, the Museum will be marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day at Carlisle Castle, the former depot of the Border Regiment. Members of the Military Vehicle Trust will be bringing a variety of WW2 vehicles, including a Bren carrier and Dodge Ambulance, for people to view. John Sadler, a re-enactor from the North East, will be showcasing objects from the Burma campaign, and two local reservist soldiers from C (Kohima) Company based in Workington will be on hand to chat to visitors about the modern-day army.
The Museum has also curated a temporary external display which will be on view until 31st August. Using photographs from the collections, and words from those who served in the ‘Forgotten Army,’ the display gives an insight into the Burma campaign. The display has been supported by Bandoola Productions, whose CEO is the son of Major DS Sole who fought in Burma with the 2nd Battalion.
Jules Wooding, Museum Manager said “Our initial plans have had to change, due to restrictions, however, marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day is very important. Soldiers serving in the Far East felt they were forgotten. Whilst people at home celebrated the end of war in Europe, three battalions of the Border Regiment were part of the campaign to retake Burma. Alongside the Cumberland Gunners, they fought a brutal and costly war against a fanatical enemy. In collaboration with English Heritage, the Museum has worked within the current limitations to commemorate this day, remember those that were part of the Forgotten Army, and pay our respects. We must not forget them.”
ALL visits to the Castle and Museum are currently ticketed.
Tickets can be booked through this link: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/carlisle-castle/ Toilets will be available, and the café will be open between 11 and 4pm thanks to local partners Watts.