Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire pays tribute to VJ Day’s 75th anniversary marking peace in Japan and the end of the Second World War.
Paying tribute to the men and women of Worcestershire, the nation and allied forces, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Lt Col Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE said:
The 75th Anniversary of the formal surrender of Japan, and with it the ending of the Second World War, will fall on Saturday 15th August 2020. After six years of intense global struggle, Britain was finally at peace and the forces which had threatened the nation’s existence, values and way of life had finally been defeated--with the significant help and sacrifice of our allies.
Earlier this year, we remembered the 75th Anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany on VE Day. But even though by May 1945 the war in Europe was over, the struggle in the Far East was to continue for another four months.
Since December 1941, British and Empire forces had been involved in a long and costly struggle against a remorseless and implacable foe. Those service personnel captured by the Japanese early in the war in places such as Hong Kong and Singapore suffered unimaginable hardships in captivity.
After early Japanese successes, British and Empire forces serving in the British XIV Army regrouped and fought back in mountainous, jungle-clad terrain in extreme conditions of heat and monsoon to inflict a comprehensive defeat on the Japanese in Burma.
This victory altered the course of the war and within all ranks of XIV Army, it set an example of multi-racial comradeship and cooperation which has particular resonance for us today.
Amongst those involved in this campaign were men and women from Worcestershire and a certain Colonel Sir Tom Moore, whose incredible fortitude surprised us all this summer and whose fundraising for NHS Charities was recently recognised by Her Majesty The Queen.
The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, will lead the UK in a national moment of remembrance and thanksgiving for all those who served in the Far East at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire as part of a special televised service.
There will be a two minute silence at 11am.
Lt Col Patrick Holcroft added: "Once again, our ability to mark this important anniversary is constrained by the continuing need to be vigilant in our response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
This is a cause of profound regret, but I am grateful to you all as you continue to support our emergency services in their dedicated and inspiring work during this present health emergency. On Saturday 15 August, I hope that you will be able to join me in spending a few moments remembering with pride and gratitude all that was endured and achieved on our behalf by men and women in the Far East to safeguard our future and to protect our values."
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