As Europe celebrated the surrender of German forces on VE Day, thousands of British, Commonwealth and Allied Armed Forces personnel were still involved in bitter fighting in the Far East. The VJ Day Memorial Walk remembers the ‘Forgotten Army’.

Click play to watch the short video.
Geordie philanthropist, Brian Burnie, has organised an epic 21-mile walk from Sunderland to Newcastle to mark VJ Day and honour all Far East PoW’s and the memory of his “great friend” Len Gibson – Join us, Sunday 11th August 2024.

For ALL Far East Prisoners of War and our dear friend Len Gibson (BEM)

Mr Len Gibson

The memorial walk will start in Sunderland Cenotaph at 6.30am, Sunday 11th August 2024 and travel 21.6 miles through South Tyneside, Gateshead ending in Newcastle Civic Centre, honouring Far East PoW’s and Sunderland war hero Len Gibson. At 11am, there will be a special service at South Shields Town Hall.

Mr Gibson supported the cancer charity, Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care, who named one of their Ambulances in his honour ‘Len Guitar Gibson’. The anniversary of Japan’s surrender marks the end of World War II. Working on the infamous Burma Railway, only a fraction of the Far East PoW’s survived starvation, torture and Malaria.

The free event, which is open to everyone, will begin with a short service with military piper and bugler. Charity volunteers, supporters, 80 year old Brian Burnie will be among the lead party from the Sunderland Cenotaph over the Wearmouth Bridge (Itinerary to follow).


VJ Day Memorial Walk Sunday 11th August 2024

Join the Annual Memorial Walk

More deatils to follow soon.

Everyone is invited to walk from Sunderland to Newcastle in remembrance of the ‘Forgotten Army’. Many fought and died fighting the Japanese Army in Burma. Those who survived later taken prisoner and forced to work on the River Kwai Bridge and Railway.

Standard Bearer VJ day memorial walk

Remembering all Far East Prisoners of WWII

Remebering all of our VJ Day Heroes.

To commemorate ALL FAR EAST PRISONERS OF WORLD WAR II, Brian Burnie is campaigning to create a statue of Mr.Len Gibson. Len endured three and a half years on the notorious Burma Railway and Bridge over the River Kwai, suffered near starvation, disease and brutality as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Designed and built by Ray Lonsdale, the creator of Seaham’s ‘Tommy’ statue, it will be erected on the route of the Newcastle to Sunderland VJ Day Walk, at Roker Cliff Park, Sunderland.

Sign the petition today by clicking here or scanning the QR code with your smart phone! Thank you.

Watch the short video below.

Scan me

Click play to watch the short video.
Geordie philanthropist, Brian Burnie, has organised a statue to honour ALL Far East Prisoners of War. Watch Part One.

Click play to watch the short video – Part Two.

VJ Day memorial Walk

Brian Burnie and artist Ray Lonsdale

Ray's suggested design for the statue.

Can you support the VJ Day Memorial Walk?

Route of the VJ Walk – Sunday 11th August 2024
“We hope communities can come together on Sunday 11th and walk just a few paces, a mile or two or perhaps a little further to support and remember the ‘forgotten army’. If we can get 101 people just to walk a mile or two, that would be incredibly moving.” Brian Burnie.

Stage 1:
Itinerary to follow early 2024.

Stage 2:
Itinerary to follow early 2024.

A Wearside Lad in World War II – By Len Gibson (B.E.M)

The extraordinary story of Len Gibson’s life as a prisoner of war in the Far East – Now only £8.99 free P&P

‘Len Gibson: A Wearside Lad in World War II’ looks back on Len’s remarkable life as a Japanese prisoner of war, where he endured three and a half years of forced labour, near-starvation, disease and brutality.

Len has influenced and supported many people including music-royalty Dave Stewart co-founder of the ‘Euthymics’ and professional footballer Keith Adams who played for Sunderland and Australian Nationals. Currently living in Melbourne, Keith was an ex-pupil of Len’s at his former school where he was Deputy Head, Hasting Hill Primary School.

Cheques are accepted via post to Daft as a Brush House, Gosforth, Newcastle, NE3 2DR. Purchase on-line via the link below. Please mark any letters ‘Len Gibson Book’ and include your return address details. Or, call in to see us! Our Reception is open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday for card and cash payments.

(Books dispatch by post, allow 2-3 days, an extra day or two over public holidays.)

Buy Len’s book by Clicking Here.

Return to the Daft as a Brush website by: Clicking Here.

A Wearside Lad in WWII by Mr Len Gibson