2015 - 70th Anniversary

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VJ Day

Roy Noble Interviews Bernard Stogden

BBC Radio Wales

Interview

Bernard’s father made the Changi Cross as a PoW

Please click on the cross to listen to the interview

 

 

Great Yarmouth FEPOW Memorial

The FEPOW Community wreath was laid beside the British Legion, Norfolks and the Great Yarmouth wreaths.

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Photos by Ron Taylor

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 Far East Casualties POWs Remembered at Haverhill

Well over fifty people joined members and friends of the Haverhill Family History Group and the local branch of the Royal British Legion in Haverhill Cemetery for a guided walk to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day.

VJ Walk August 15th

VJ Walk August 15th

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People heard how many local people found themselves in the Far East in 1942 and listened to accounts describing the three and a half years that followed the Fall of Singapore. The life stories of 12 casualties (3 who died during the Fight for Singapore and 9 who died as POWs) from Haverhill were also told. Those who returned were also remembered with accounts of how the town reacted to news of the Japanese surrender and how they were welcomed home. The event ended with a Roll Call.

 

 

Brighton and Hove Celebrations

This year, being the 70th anniversary of VJ day which commemorates the Japanese surrender and the end of WWII, special services and ceremonies have been staged all over the country.

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A sample of the great photos by Tony Mould

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The Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Lynda Hyde, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, and the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Juliet Smith, joined veterans and representatives of local organisations at a ceremony in East Hill Park, Portslade to mark this very special date.

http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page/city_insights-101

 

 

St Martin in the Field, London

It was a most memorable and fitting service held at St Martin in the Field.  I was privileged to have tickets.  Grateful thanks to Pauline and her assistants.  There were times when I was literally moved to tears, thinking of the horrors my Father had been subjected to and survived.  The hymn 'For those in Peril on the Sea" made me think of Dad floating around in the sea. I cried the whole way through.  He was on the Rakuyo Maru and picked up by the Japanese.

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Photos by the BBC

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This ended up a 'State' occasion but I don't think this marred the incredible atmosphere.  It was wonderful to have FEPOW veterans read lessons and poems and speak of their experiences. There were so many veterans there.  I watched a man, in a wheelchair, determined to stand, even when his family felt he should sit.  I thought 'No wonder he was a survivor'.  I also realised that Dad, who had humble beginnings, would have been so proud to know that his daughter and 2 grandchildren, were able to participate in this service.

The last photo was the laying of a wreath on the special place in St Martin in the Fields dedicated to the FEPOWs.  There is a piece of wood from the railway.  I did not realise this at the time, only heard it on the BBC.  Will revisit the memorial. For me it was a very special service - one I shall never forget.

Janet Hallick

I feel moved to respond to Janet's posting about Saturday's service at St Martin's and endorse all that she has said. Thank you Janet. Thank you to NFFWRA, Java Club, Birmingham FEPOW club, COFEPOW, MVG, RFH, and of course to you Ron and this forum, as well as the myriad groups and communities up and down this country who organised services and exhibitions over last weekend. Everyone should feel immensely proud of the collective job that was done to ensure that this anniversary was one that would not go unnoticed. It has been profoundly moving and uplifting to have been a part of it, to remember our relatives privately, but also collectively and in unison on VJ Day.

We have all played a small part in bringing this history to the public, young and old, and we must continue to do so for as long as we can, to remember them is to honour them...

Meg Parkes - Author ‘Captive Memories’ written with Geoff Gill

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b067155m/vj-day-70-st-martininthefields

 

 

Cenotaph Parade

The Queen paid tribute alongside Members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers, the Mayor of London and other ministers. Representatives of the Armed Forces, Fishing Fleets and Merchant Air and Navy will be there, as well as faith communities and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries.

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Photos by Avril Anderson

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Horse Guards Parade

A memorial event was held at Horse Guards Parade, attended by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

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Photos by the BBC

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David Cameron said it was important to "honour the memory of those that died".

 

 

Bideford VJ Day Celebrations

On Saturday, August 15 Bideford celebrated the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, the day Japan announced its intention to surrender. War veterans and councillors placed wreaths on Bideford's war memorial.

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Photos by Graham Hobbs

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North Devon Journal

 

 

Earlham Cemetery, Norwich

Far East veteran, Richard Green, 90, at the Norfolk and Norwich Combined Ex Service Association service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day at the Commonwealth War Graves, Earlham Cemetery.

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Photos by Denise Bradley

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EDP

 

 

Fazeley War Memorial

Dozens of people turned out in Fazeley to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, when Japan surrendered and the war ended.A moving service was held at the War Memorial at 11am on Saturday.

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Photos by Trevor Roberts

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Both veterans and young cadets from across Tamworth attended as well as town MP Christopher Pincher and Police Commissioner Matthew Ellis.

Tamworth Herald

 

 

Preston Cemetery

People gathered at The Memorial in Preston Cemetery to commemorate the Victory over Japan Day. The Preston District Veterans Council Chaplain, Canon Timothy Lipscomb, led the service, joined by Colonel Bernard Stam, President of the Preston and District Veterans Council, and the Mayor of Preston, Councillor Margaret McManus and her consort. A parade of standards, veterans from Preston’s ex-Service associations were also in attendance on the day.

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Photos by Gillian Lawson

Posted by Paul D. Swarbrick

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The VJ Day commemoration has always had particular significance locally because of the capture of the Preston-based 2nd and 5th Battalions of the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) at the fall of Singapore in 1942.

 

 

WWII Commemoration held at City Hall, Hong Kong

About 100 people have attended a ceremony to commemorate those who died defending Hong Kong in World War Two 70 years ago.

The event at City Hall in Central was organised by the Hong Kong Prisoners of War Association and the Royal Hong Kong Regiment Association.

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Photos by RTHK News

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Those who attended included representatives from the consulate-generals of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and India.

The Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Florence Hui, attended the ceremony on behalf of the Hong Kong government.

RTHK News

 

 

Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh

Veterans who served in the Far East during the Second World War have attended commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also attended the service at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh which was hosted by The Royal British Legion Scotland.

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Belford VJ Remembrance Service

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Leslie Tait, son of FEPoW Leslie Tair, reads out the names of the local men who were captured as Sandy Lowrie, son of FEPoW Mark Lowrie, lowers the Northumberland Fusiliers standard. Picture by Eric Gassner

Belford was blessed with fine weather when hundreds were welcomed into St. Mary’s parish church for a service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Japan.  The joint service with the Erskine United Reform Church brought together the families of the men from Belford in a moving hour dedicated to those that were Far Eastern Prisoners of War and who suffered so horribly at the hands of their Japanese captors.

A brief history of the Northumberland Fusiliers role in WWII in the Far East culminating with the capitulation in Singapore was given by Kerry Noble whose father was a Captain on both of Wingate’s Chindit expeditions fighting to regain Burma. 

Jane Flower the daughter of the Lt. Col. Flower, who was given command of the Battalion upon surrender gave an overview of the work done by the Fusiliers whilst in captivity.  Liz Loutfi, whose father, Jack Atkinson was a FEPoW, spoke about the spirit of the men and some of the humour that helped to keep them going.  Memories of her father by Wilf Johnson’s daughter Marion made us feel that we all knew Wilf and felt some of his suffering and his appreciation of the simple things in life once back home. 

 Named for his Fusilier father, Leslie Tait, read a list of 27 local lads who were captured and reminded the congregation that these men were our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, uncles, brothers and friends and that they fought, suffered and some died so that we could all live our lives in freedom.

At the end of the service The Northumberland Fusilier Standard was lowered and the two youngest great grandchildren of FEPoW Wilf Johnson, Logan Thompson, age 3 and Caleb Johnson age 3 months, with their fathers, laid a poppy cross upon a wall of bamboo. 

Tea was served on the lawn in front of the museum which was a lovely occasion and gave the congregation a chance to meet up with old friends, make new ones and swop stories.

 

 

 

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