Posted: Sat 15th Aug 2020

VJ Day: The surrender of Japan to the Allied forces 75 years ago, signalled the end of the Second World War

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Aug 15th, 2020

75 years ago today, Japan signalled it’s intention to surrender bringing an end of the Second World War.

Six years of unprecedented conflict and suffering was finally coming to a close. And the Welsh troops who had been fighting in the Far East and Pacific were to return to their beloved homeland once more.

Whilst VE Day (Victory in Europe) marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East.

Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) marks the day Japan surrendered on the 15 August 1945, which in effect ended the Second World War.

Veterans of the Far East campaign will be at the heart of the commemorations as the nation thanks them for their service and sacrifice. 

Events today will also pay tribute to the tens of thousands of service personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth who fought and died in the war against Japan, including all those who were held as prisoners of war by the Japanese.

Wales First Minister spoke to veterans who served in the Far East during the Second World War over zoom this week.

“The inspirational stories I heard from Walford Hughes and Ted Owens will stay with me forever, as will their support for fellow veterans readjusting to life after war.” said Mr Drakeford.

“On Saturday, we will mark this important anniversary and pay tribute to all those affected by the war in the Far East and Pacific: Service personnel, their families and all civilians around the world.

Read Mark Drakeford’s letter of thanks to Veterans. 

We pay our tributes to all of those affected by war, in our own extraordinary time, under the shadow of coronavirus, no doubt impacting our usual plans for commemorations. 

But at a time when we have had to make sacrifices and suffered losses, we remember those 75 years ago who were there at the end of the most destructive conflict the world has ever seen.

Those whose sacrifice and suffering allowed the next generation to work towards peace.” The First Minister said.

Flintshire County Council will be raising the Union Jack flag and the Flag of Wales outside County Hall, Mold today.

Councillor Andy Dunbobbin, Armed Forces Champion said:

“VJ Day is an opportunity to remember and pay tribute to those who served and the Second World War generation – military and civilian, British, Commonwealth and internationally – who gave so much to secure victory in the Far East in August 1945.

“Although we cannot mark the occasion as we would have done this year, we still want to commemorate VJ Day safely while observing the latest coronavirus guidance. Raising the flags is one of the ways we can honour the memories of those who gave so much and say Thank You.”

At 11am a National Two Minute Silence led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will appear in a photo montage series alongside other Second World War veterans. Each veteran will be pictured with an image of themselves from their time in service in a touching tribute broadcast on large screens across the country marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.

Armed Forces musicians will lead the nation in a Service of Remembrance hosted by The Royal British Legion at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The ceremony will involve a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

In the first such flight since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Red Arrows will conduct a UK wide flypast tribute over Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London with its path including The Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to three Burma Star recipients.

VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute will be broadcast on BBC One. Filmed at Horse Guards Parade, alongside veteran testimony His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will give an address which pays tribute to the veterans and the wartime generation, as the Nation honours, thanks and remembers all those who sacrificed so much during the Second World War.

The pre-recorded programme, developed with the Ministry of Defence and involving 300 members of Armed Forces personnel, will highlight the scope and diversity of the British military in 1945. It will include a host of famous faces reading tributes, military bands and dramatic visual projection.

The Service of Remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum, including the two-minute silence, will be broadcast on BBC One between 0930 – 1130.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, this event is not open to the public and people are asked not to visit the National Memorial Arboretum. VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute will be broadcast on BBC One between 2030 – 2200.

Feature image- Imperial War Museum 

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