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The bustling market town of Romsey was once famous for three things: its brewery, its abbey, and as the home of the late Lord Mountbatten of Burma,
the last Viceroy of India.
The brewery, Strong and Company, was well known for its "Youʼre in the Strong Country" signs,
and excellent beers. Both came to an end in 1981 after 123 years, when Whitbread decided to centralise its brewing. The buildings are now flats and offices.
Broadlands, the nearby large country house formerly the home of Earl Mountbatten,
is now is occupied by Lady Brabourne and is open to the public on weekdays in the summer.
The church of Romsey Abbey is still very much with us, although little remains if the other monastic buildings.
Sitting somewhat incongruously between the childrenʼs play area and the refreshment kiosk in Romseyʼs War Memorial Park is a large Japanese field gun.
The plaque on the gun explains:
This World War II 150mm Japanese field gun was presented to the townspeople of Romsey in 1946 by Rear Admiral,
the Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, GVCO, KCB, DSO, LLD, DCL Supreme Allied Commander - South East Asia Command,
in recognition of the townspeopleʼs service both military and civil in the Second World War.
Mountbatten was given two of these guns at the end of the war; the other one can be found outside his house, Broadlands.