VJ Day Digital Exhibition Explores The Diversity Of The Fourteenth Army

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 Staffordshire, is hosting a free online exhibition of brand new illustrations as part of the site’s programme of activity commemorating the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

Created by Kremena Dimitrova, the colourful artworks of ‘Visualising History: Remembering the Forgotten Army’ tell the story of the diverse communities who comprised the Fourteenth Army, serving together in one of the fiercest theatres of the Second World War, and the lasting legacy that they have had on today’s society and culture. It contains elements inspired by a recent series of digital workshops with young exploring the key themes of the exhibition.

A million people from Britain and across the Commonwealth served in the Fourteenth Army, one of the most diverse forces in history, battling adverse environments and the fearsome Japanese Imperial Army. The stories of those who served, along with  thousands who were captured and faced harrowing conditions as Prisoners of War, are often forgotten, with focus given to the conflict in Europe.

Kremena Dimitrova is an award-winning illustrator, historian and lecturer who has created several notable artworks that explore key historical moments and social change. She is currently studying for a PhD in Visualising History at the University of Portsmouth.

The exhibition is free to view here on the Arboretum’s website until 30 September.

“We continually strive to find new routes for people to engage with Remembrance and discover some of the amazing stories of people who have served our country. Kremena’s impactful and story-driven illustrations tell the incredible tale of the ‘Forgotten Fourteenth’ who bravely fought for the freedoms we all hold dear.”

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

“In creating this work I was determined to help everyone expand their knowledge of this important historic era, going beyond what is often taught in schools and discussing how people from different backgrounds worked together to overcome adversity in the forgotten theatres of the Second World War. By bringing this amazing story to life we can all remember their service and learn from the people who, during the Second World War, helped each other regardless of race, religion or cultural differences.”

Kremena Dimitrova, Artist