Welcome to our Summer Exhibition

Welcome to The Gurkha Museum’s 2020 Summer Exhibition: Remembered – Gurkhas, VJ Day and the End of the Second World War.

For many years, the Museum has produced an annual exhibition focusing on different aspects of Gurkha history and Nepalese culture. 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to the way we as a Museum are able to work, as well as affecting our visitors, volunteers, supporters and staff. However, it has also provided us with an opportunity to explore new methods of showcasing our collections.

That is why this year, for the month of August 2020, we will be sharing our annual exhibition digitally through our website and social media platforms. Join us from the comfort of your own home as we take you through some of the great battles and hard-won victories fought by Gurkha soldiers during the Burma Campaign, told digitally through daily posts, photographs and videos.

We hope that you will enjoy this new exhibition format as we continue our work to share the history of the Gurkhas while keeping our visitors and staff safe.

Check back regularly to view new and exciting content throughout the month.

Remembered - Gurkhas, VJ Day and the end of the Second World War

Beginning in late 1941 after the surprise Japanese assault on the American positions at Pearl Harbour, the South-East Asian theatre of the Second World War saw Allied forces rapidly pushed back from their colonial possessions. At its peak the Japanese Empire controlled huge swathes of the Chinese mainland, Malaya, much of Indochina, the majority of the Pacific islands west of Hawaii (including the Philippines) and was seemingly a single successful offensive away from fully conquering Burma and launching an invasion of India.

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The Context

The war in the Far East began violently and suddenly in 1941 for the Allied forces stationed in Malaya and Burma. In the face of a rapid Japanese advance Allied forces could do little except fall back in the face of a formidable and battle-hardened enemy. By the end of 1941 Malaya had been conquered and on February 7th 1942 Singapore, one of the largest fortresses in the Far East and containing over 80,000 Allied troops, fell to Japanese hands.

Japanese Second World War Propaganda Leaflets

Japanese propaganda aimed at inhabitants of the territories they occupied and conquered, as well as the soldiers of the opposing Allied armies, focused on inequalities between East Asian and Indian soldiers and European officers, and on Japan’s role as a liberator from European oppression.

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