The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum (Royal Warwickshire) marks 75th anniversary of VE Day - The Leamington Observer

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum (Royal Warwickshire) marks 75th anniversary of VE Day

Leamington Editorial 7th May, 2020   0

KEEP celebrating and carry on is the message from The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum (Royal Warwickshire) as it marks the 75th anniversary VE Day.

The Warwick-based museum had like many others throughout the country, planned to take part in public events to celebrate the anniversary tomorrow.

The museum, at St John’s House, which is currently closed, but is still determined to carry on.

Stephanie Bennett, curator, said: “As a nation we can still join together to mark this important and historic day in 1945 when Allied forces formally accepted Germany’s surrender. All week the museum has been using social media to celebrate VE Day and to remember our heroes of the Second World War both at home and abroad.

“VE Day is time to reflect on the sacrifices of a generation and a chance to honour those who gave so much to secure our freedom and liberty.

“The 2nd Battalion the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, landed on D-Day, the 6th June 1944, and then the 1/7th Battalion (disbanded in August 1944) arrived in Europe a few weeks later.

“On the cessation of fighting in Europe the 2nd Battalion was near Bremen in Germany. By early 1945 it was clear that Germany was on the verge of collapse, but they fought to the end with determination. The battalion crossed the Rhine near Rees at the end of March and then a few days later captured Lingen. Their final target was the town of Bremen. En route to Bremen they had to attack Leeste which was defended by the 18th SS training battalion, a fanatical Nazi youth unit. There was some fierce fighting, especially for ‘A’ Company. For this action two men received the Military Medal for gallantry and Major Illing, the Company Commander, was awarded a bar to his Military Cross (that is he got a second Military Cross).

“Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery is one of the famous sons of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was commissioned into the Regiment in September 1908 and was badly wounded during the First World War before going on to play a key role in the Second World War.

“In 1939 he commanded 3rd Division during the British Expeditionary Force and later retreat from Dunkirk. In 1942 he was sent to command the Eighth Army, where he became infamous for wearing two cap badges in his beret (his General Officer’s badge and the Royal Tank Regiment badge), and at the Battle of Alamein in October he led his men to a decisive victory. On the 6th June he commanded all the Allied Forces for the Normandy landings and then led his forces across Europe into Germany. On May 4th 1945, at Luneburg Heath, Montgomery took the unconditional surrender of the Germans. The German forces surrendered in northern Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. The war in western Europe was over for British and Commonwealth troops.

“Although there was Victory in Europe, the conflict continued in the East, and VJ Day (Victory over Japan) was not until the 15th August 1945. With VJ Day the Second World War was finally over.”

Printable family friendly resources can be found on the museum’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

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