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VJ Day 75th anniversary to be marked in Worcester

Published: 06 August 2020

The Mayor of Worcester will lead a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory in Japan), the day on which the Second World War finally came to an end, on Saturday 15 August.

Councillor Jo Hodges will open the event at 11am at the Guildhall in High Street. It will include prayers, poetry and a minute's silence.

Social distancing requirements mean there will only be 15 official attendees in the Guildhall courtyard, but members of the public are welcome to watch from outside the railings.

Among those in attendance will be the High Sheriff of Worcestershire, Mark Jackson OBE; David Waldron, Royal British Legion Worcestershire Chairman; Jean Waldron, Royal British Legion Worcester Chairman; Major Lee Dandy of the Royal Artillery 214 Battery; the Leader and Deputy Leader of Worcester City Council, Cllrs Marc Bayliss and Adrian Gregson; representatives of Worcestershire County Council and the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire; and a Royal British Legion standard bearer.

The Mayor said: "Many people think the Second World War ended on 8 May 1945 on VE Day, but the reality is that many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still involved in bitter fighting in the Far East until August.

"Britain and the Commonwealth's principle fighting force in the Far East, 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 in Worcester and across the UK, and one of the many important aspects of VJ Day is the commemoration of that lasting legacy."

The ceremony at the Guildhall on August 15 will include a welcome and speech by the Mayor, readings of the Kohima Epitaph and a verse from the poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon, prayers by the Mayor's Chaplain and the minute's silence.

VJ Day is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces in the Second World War, effectively bringing the conflict to an end.

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