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Devon to mark 75th anniversary of VJ Day

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The 75th anniversary of VJ Day will be commemorated on Saturday 15 August with flags being flown at Devon County Hall.

Victory over Japan day marks the surrender of Japan in 1945 which ended the Second World War.

The 75th anniversary is an opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice made by service personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth.

The war with Japan began in December 1941, two years after war had been declared against Germany after Hitler invaded Europe. Tens of thousands fought and died in the war against Japan, and thousands more suffered as prisoners of war, including more than 12,000 Allied POWs who died building the Burma “Death Railway”.

Photo of HM Lord Lieutenant David Fursdon
HM Lord-Lt David Fursdon

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, said: “On this the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan we remember all of those veterans of the Far East campaign. We particularly pay tribute to the armed forces personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth, tens of thousands of whom fought and died including those held in prisoner of war camps.

“The nation thanks them all and their families, for their service and sacrifice, continuing to fight in a truly difficult arena, whilst celebrations were taking place back home for the Victory in Europe. We honour their bravery and commitment for what saw the end to World War II and freedom for the nation.”


Photo of Councillor Stuart Barker
Councillor Stuart Barker

Devon County Council Chairman Stuart Barker said: “We must never forget those thousands of service personnel who fought in the Far East. Their war continued after the end of war in Europe, and it was only after the surrender of Japan that World War II ended. It remains as important as ever that we commemorate VJ Day as well as VE Day. Please take a moment on Saturday 15 August to remember all those who fought in the Far East and be thankful for their service and sacrifice which helped bring about peace.”


Photograph of Councillor John Hart sat at a desk
Councillor John Hart

Devon County Council Leader John Hart said: “It is right that we remember this date and pay special tribute to those who served our country and gave so much to secure peace. At times our services in the Far East felt they were the forgotten army with so much focus on Europe – but we must ensure they are never forgotten; not now, on this 75th anniversary, nor in years to come. They fought bravely in atrocious conditions and we owe our veterans a huge debt of gratitude for everything they sacrificed when fighting this war, mainly in jungle conditions, to end World War II.”

Nationally, The Royal British Legion has organised remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum, with a Two Minute Silence being led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at 11am on Saturday 15 August.

A number of free online talks and events have been organised by the National Army Museum, the Royal Air Force Museum, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission leading up to and on the day of the 75th anniversary. More information is available on the National Army Museum website.

The government has also published a toolkit for anyone who might like to display bunting or posters.

Use #VJDay75 to join the conversation on social media.

However you mark the day, please do so safely and observe social distancing guidance.