By Tony Winterburn • 15 August 2020 • 9:19
VJ Day marked the formal end of the war with the surrender of Japan. image: UK Gov
Senior members of the Royal Family will join veterans in marking both the surrender of Japan and the end of the Second World War on the 75th anniversary of VJDay.
Buckingham Palace said Prince Charles will lead a two-minute silence at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire as part of a special VJ Day TV service, the Red Arrows will take to the skies for a UK-wide flypast.
The Duke of Edinburgh will also feature in commemorations, appearing on screens across the country in a photo montage with other veterans.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was joined by military chiefs as he laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in London early this morning.
VJ Day – or Victory over Japan Day – on 15 August 1945 ended one of the worst episodes in British military history, during which tens of thousands of servicemen were forced to endure the brutalities of prisoner of war camps.
It is estimated that there were almost 71,000 British and Commonwealth casualties of the war against Japan, including more than 12,000 prisoners of war who died in Japanese captivity. More than 2.5 million Japanese military personnel and civilians are believed to have died over the course of the conflict.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“On this anniversary I want to remember what we owe the veterans of the Far East campaign. They brought an end to the Second World War, they changed the course of history for the better, liberated South East Asia, and many paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“That’s why on this remarkable anniversary – and every day hereafter – we will remember them.”
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