On 15th April at 11am Members of the Ramsey & District Branch of the Royal British Legion, were joined by the Mayor of Ramsey Cllr. Steve Corney and County Councillor Adela Costello. Pip Cadman represented Thomas A’Becket Church and along with Members of our own Armed Forces, we stood in Remembrance and laid wreaths to remember Victory over Japan (VJ) Day.
Whilst Victory in Europe (VE) Day marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still involved in bitter fighting in the Far East. Fighting in the Asia-Pacific took place from Hawaii to North East India. Made up of over 600,000 troops, more than 85% of forces were from pre-partition India, including Gurkhas from Nepal, and troops from 12 African nations.
Britain and the Commonwealth’s principal fighting force, the Fourteenth Army, was one of the most diverse in history - over 40 languages were spoken, and all the world’s major religions represented. The descendants of many of the Commonwealth veterans of that army are today part of multicultural communities up and down the country, a lasting legacy to the success and comradeship of those who fought in the Asia-Pacific. The war in the Far East, also commonly known as ‘the Burma Campaign’, was the longest campaign fought by the British and Commonwealth armies in the Second World War.
Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and Victory over Japan marks the day Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, which in effect ended the Second World War. On August 14, 1945 the world learned that Japan had surrendered, effectively ending World War II, a war that Americans thought would go on indefinitely. No newsflash in modern history has ever been greeted with such overwhelming celebration. The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced by Japanese Emperor Hirohito on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. Japanese foreign affairs minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri as which was witnessed by General Richard K. Sutherland, September 2, 1945
Despite this, it has never been seen to hold the same importance as the war in Europe though, with many of the men and women who fought in the Far East considering themselves forgotten.
This year we remember the 75 Anniversary and the contribution of all Commonwealth and Allied Forces, without whom victory and the freedoms and way of life we enjoy today would not have been possible.