Far East veterans urged to support Fenland VJ Day service

VJ Day Copy Picture from Lynn News ANL-150617-120805009
VJ Day Copy Picture from Lynn News ANL-150617-120805009

Veterans and people across Fenland are being urged to support a service which is being held to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Fenland District Council has organised a special event next month to mark the Allied victory over Japanese forces, which brought an end to six long years of war.

Chairman Carol Cox will be hosting the service at St Peter’s Church, Wisbech, on Friday, August 14, at 2.30pm.

She is particularly hoping to see veterans who served in the Far East at the service, which will be conducted by Fr Paul West.

She said: “This year marks two very significant anniversaries.

“It is 70 years since the end of the Second World War and 75 years since the Battle of Britain. VJ Day is the ideal occasion to commemorate them.

“It gives us the chance to remember and honour all those men and women who served, suffered and died in the war and particularly those who were caught up in the fighting in the Far East.

“It is a time for all of us to reflect and show our respect to those who gave up so much for our freedom and to celebrate the legacy of a lasting peace.

“We are particularly keen to involve anyone who actually served in the Far East and their families in the service. But everyone is very welcome to join us, so please pass the word on to your friends and neighbours.”

The service is being held the day before the UK’s official VJ Day.

It will include the famous Kohima Epitaph: “When you go home, tell them of us and say ‘For their tomorrow, we gave our today”.

It commemorates those who died in the battle of Kohima in 1944, seen as one of the turning points in the Far Eastern campaign. St Peter’s Church houses a memorial plaque donated by the Singapore Club Wisbech. It is dedicated “to the memory of the men of this area who were killed in action or died in captivity in the Far East”.

Light refreshments will be served in the church afterwards. Allied forces celebrate VJ Day on August 15 but Japan did not sign the unconditional surrender until September 2.

Contact Sharon Smith at Fenland District Council on 01354 622281 or email: sharonsmith@fenland.gov.uk