Arboretum Launches Special VJ Day Activity Packs

Open for visitors!

The National Memorial Arboretum is open freely to all, year-round from 10am-5pm, every day except Christmas Day.  We recommend pre-booking your visit, to guarantee entry.

Please note: on Wednesday 28 July the North part of the site (which includes, but is not limited to, the Royal British Legion Poppy Field, Allied Special Forces Memorial Grove and the memorials and individual dedications in the areas surrounding them and the UK Police Memorial) will be closed to visitors until approximately 2.30pm, whilst a private dedication ceremony takes place at the UK Police Memorial.  The new memorial will be open to visitors from Thursday 29 July. There will also be limited access to the memorials on the Naval Review until the service has ended at 2.30pm. We will be unable to offer our Stick Man Trail, Outdoor Escape Challenges and Our Everyday Heroes activity packs on Wednesday 28 July. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Pre-book your visit

The National Memorial Arboretum, in partnership with The Royal British Legion, has launched two free downloadable activity packs containing activities to help people mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day on 15 August.

Carefully crafted to ensure people of all ages have a route to remember the contributions made by those who fought in the Far East, the free packs explore the story of the “Forgotten Fourteenth”. The Fourteenth Army was one of the most diverse forces in history, comprising around a million people from across the Commonwealth.

Designed for all ages, the main activity pack provides an overview of the Second World War in the Asia-Pacific theatre and shines a spotlight o n the incredible people who served in challenging conditions, fighting against the fearsome Japanese Imperial Army. A collection of recipes offers a tasty way for people to learn about the diverse customs and traditions of those who served, and a quiz assists with discover information about this fascinating but often overlooked aspect of the Second World War.

The special children’s activity pack contains activities targeted at under 12s, including uniforms to colour, a challenge to design an animal-themed insignia, a Fourteenth Army word search, and games from Commonwealth countries to play with other members of the family.

Both activity packs are available free of charge from the National Memorial Arboretum website. The packs will also be promoted and distributed through housing providers, the Youth United Foundation and the National Activity Providers Association.

Devised as part of an ambitious commemorative programme to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, the activity packs are one of many ways for people to engage with this landmark occasion. They complement the live broadcast of a special service at the Arboretum on 15 August and a series of digital activities and exhibitions on the National Memorial Arboretum and The Royal British Legion websites.

“This pair of VJ Day 75 activity packs offer a wide array of ways for people of all ages to engage with this landmark anniversary and to learn more about this often forgotten chapter of the Second World War. They build on the incredible success of our VE Day 75 activity packs, which offered a new route for thousands of people to engage with Remembrance from their own home in a wide variety of ways.”

Chris Ansell, Head of Participation and Learning at the National Memorial Arboretum