On the 15 August 1945, Nigel de Grey, Deputy Director of the Government Code & Cypher School, gathered staff together outside the Bletchley Park Mansion, to officially announce the formal surrender of Japan, and the end of World War Two.
Seventy-five years on, on 15 August 2020, we invite visitors to join us outside the Bletchley Park Mansion* at 11am to pause for a nationwide two-minute silence and a moment of reflection.
Shortly after 11am, a bell at St Mary’s Church, Bletchley, located close by to Bletchley Park, will be heard ringing 75 times.
We will also be sharing a new VJ Day 75 podcast, Collections Uncovered album and insights from our declassified archives and Oral History project online throughout the day.
Although Bletchley Park may be more famous today for its breaking of the famous German Enigma cipher machines, it was also where thousands of men and women worked on breaking Japanese codes and ciphers, often after a crash-course on Japanese language. Based at Bletchley Park, as well as at secret intercept stations across Asia and the Pacific, these men and women worked in close collaboration with Britain’s US and Australian Allies.
Want to learn more about Bletchley Park’s work on Japanese codes and ciphers?
- Visit Japanese codebreaking displays in wartime Block C and Block B
- Discover what impact the breaking of Japanese diplomatic codes and ciphers had on the planning and implementation of D-Day in our immersive D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion exhibition
- Peek inside Commander Denniston’s office in the Mansion – the room where the US-UK intelligence sharing agreement was made. Whilst Britain continued to work on Enigma and European codes and ciphers, the US took the lead on Japanese signals.
- Also in the Mansion, don’t miss our Veterans’ Stories exhibition – from cooks to Codebreakers, explore some of the stories collected from the thousands of men and women working for Bletchley Park through our priceless Oral History project.
- View rare Japanese index cards on display in the new Never Alone exhibition
Find out more about the work of Bletchley Park and why it matters on our story and people pages.
(*Social distancing and safety guidelines to be followed at all times.)