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Exhibitions mark WWII anniversaries

Archive image of troops in Malaya

LEICESTER’S museums are hosting two new exhibitions that commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Newarke Houses Museum will mark its reopening on Thursday (27 August) with an exhibition that focuses on VJ Day – the day in 1945 when the war finally came to an end.

Photographs, personal stories, medals, and a chess set made by prisoners of war will be amongst the items on display.

The Far East campaign, fought by British, Allied and Commonwealth forces between December 1941 and August 1945, became known as ‘the Forgotten War’ – although many thousands of men were captured and endured years of captivity in brutal prisoner of war camps.

The Leicestershire Regiment – which became the Royal Leicestershire Regiment in 1946 – played a key role in the Far East, and its involvement in the campaign is remembered in a special section on the city council’s Story of Leicester website.

VJ 75 – Leicestershire Prisoners of War in the Far East 1941-45 opens at Newarke Houses Museum at 12 noon on Thursday (27 August) and runs until 8 November.

Newarke Houses Museum is open from Thursdays to Sundays only, from 12 noon to 4.30pm.

Also now open at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery is Finding the Fallen, VE75 – A Pilgrim’s Journey of Remembrance.

Linked to the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the exhibition is a response by Leicester artist Loz Atkinson to the memory of her great-grandfather Arthur Pinder. Arthur and his crew died during the Second World War when their Halifax Bomber crashed on a mountain in northern Italy.

Finding the Fallen, VE75 is at the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery until 15 November.

Deputy City Mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “I’m very pleased that our museums are now open again so we can commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War with these two significant exhibitions.

“I hope that the exhibitions will inspire visitors to the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery and to Newarke Houses Museum to learn more about this very important period of modern history.”

Because of coronavirus restrictions, visits to all of Leicester’s museums – including the Guildhall and the Abbey Pumping Station, which also reopen at 12 noon on Thursday 27 August – must now be pre-booked. Tickets can be booked at

More information about all of Leicester’s museums is available at