Remembering the forgotten

Many of the men and women who fought in the Far East consider themselves forgotten, compared to those who fought in Europe.

The war in the Far East, also commonly known as ‘the Burma Campaign’, was the longest campaign fought by the British and Commonwealth armies in the Second World War.

In 1945 it provided the largest army group the South East Asia Command (SEAC) – nearly 1.3 million men and women – ever assembled by the British Commonwealth and its Allies.

Despite this, it has never been seen to hold the same importance as the war in Europe though, with many of the men and women who fought in the Far East considering themselves forgotten.

81 Division Recce Regiment - Japanese rifle and helmet - captured by soldiers from Sierra Leone

The Forgotten Army

There are many reasons, historical, political, cultural and social for why so many veterans of the war in the Far East have felt forgotten, and why the Fourteenth Army itself became known as the Forgotten Army.
Why the Fourteenth Army was known as the 'Forgotten Army'
Liberated POWs photographed in Singapore, 6 September 1945

Far East Prisoners of War

After VE Day thousands of servicemen and women remained prisoners of war in the Far East.
Forgotten British veterans
Lieutenant-General Sir William Slim, 14th Army Commander, talking to an African gunner

Commonwealth veterans

Despite the overwhelming contribution of Commonwealth forces to the 1.3 million strong SEAC, many of the contributions of the men and women from those nations remains unknown or ignored.
Forgotten Commonwealth veterans

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