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King's Lynn museums prepare for VJ Day 75th anniversary

Museums in Lynn are joining in with the 75th VJ Day anniversary celebrations this weekend with some special activities taking place.

Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) marks the day Japan surrendered to the Allied forces on 15 August 1945, finally bringing an end to the Second World War.

Lynn Museum will be sharing the story of John Sutton, one Far East Prisoner of War from Gaywood.

Lynn Museum, Market Street
Lynn Museum, Market Street

He met his future wife, Marjorie, at a Lynn laundrette at the start of the war.

They were separated when he was taken prisoner and Marjorie didn’t know if he was still alive.

Just after V J Day she got a letter from him saying he was bringing home silk for her wedding dress. They were the first couple married at Gaywood Church after the war and the bells rang for their wedding for the first time since September 1939.

Meanwhile, Stories of Lynn is working with West Norfolk Council, the Civic Office, Ancient House Museum and RAFA (RAF Association) on a virtual VJ Day of reflection and remembrance.

There will be new resources on the Stories of Lynn website including accounts from local families and veterans who were linked to the end of the Second World War, how to play family games from the 1940s and a Burma Star “Feelings and Wishes” card to gather the reflections of people on VJ Day or recent events.

The completed cards will be part of the installation at Stories of Lynn: www.storiesoflynn.co.uk/virtualvjday75

A VJ Day service, including the two-minute silence at 11am, will be broadcast live on the borough council YouTube channel.

The two-minute silence, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday, August 15) at 11am will also be observed across the Norfolk Museums Service.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities at Norfolk County Council, said:

“While the end of the war after six long years was a cause for celebration for many, it’s important to remember that for many Norfolk families the anxiety continued as they waited for their loved ones’ return from fighting in the Far East, or for news of those who were missing.

"On this significant anniversary, we have an opportunity to reflect on their bravery and sacrifice in helping secure the Allied victory while not forgetting the terrible human cost of the war on both sides.

"As custodians of the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum collections, our Museum Service plays a vital role in sharing the stories and objects which ensure this important chapter in our history is never forgotten.”

See today's Lynn News paper for an eight-page VJ Day special.

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