VJ Day, is a time to reflect and show gratitude to our survivors for their bravery, dedication and sacrifice, to those who never returned, and remember that the Second World War did not end on May 8th.
Thousands of British and Allied Forces, Civilian Men, Women and Children were still fighting or imprisoned in the Far East, many died on “hell ships”, locked below deck to suffer horrendous torture.
Our military had been fighting on land, on sea and in the air right up until they were captured, many forgetting this. Others were fighting in various parts of the Pacific Islands, Hong Kong, Java, Palembang Sumatra, Singapore and Malaya. It wasn’t all about Burma, as many believe.
Thousands died in prison camps, from starvation, tropical diseases, subjected to brutal and barbaric treatment daily. No excuse was needed by the Japanese. Many taken to be shot, whipped with barbed wire, beaten with sticks or rifle butts. Burials took place on open bonfires.
The high mortality rate 55.6%, was so much higher than Europe and represents the real truth of Jap methods and treatment.
The prisoners were made to work long hours doing heavy work with merely 350 grams of rice, 150 grams if you were sick.
Those who returned home, carried with them memories of mistreatment and loss, some of them particularly shocking.
The sacrifice of those who suffered and died for the Allied cause in Asia, remains today one of the most honoured memories of the British Armed Forces. The largest British Empire and Commonwealth military ever assembled, numbering over half a million.
Japan finally surrendered on 14 August 1945, after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The next day was celebrated as VJ Day. WW11 was now over.
A memorial service will take place in the Minster Church of St. Andrew, Plymouth. Please be seated by 2:15 p.m. A celebration in the Guildhall follows with a purchased £3:00 wrist band. No wrist band, no entry. Organisers have the right to refuse entry.
Thank you to the Treasury Bar & Restaurant for allowing us to sell our wrist bands. Please purchase yours on Wednesday 28th & Saturday 31st July. Wednesday 4th & Saturday 7th August. 12p.m – 2p.m.
Thank you for the support from this article and donations from our sponsors- Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Audax Security, Earl of Plymouth Funeral Directors.
More Information on our website: www.vjday75plymouth.co.uk