VJ Day: Veterans at 70th anniversary commemorations

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veterans Veterans of World War Two have taken part in events to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, when Japan surrendered and the war ended.

A memorial event was held at Horse Guards Parade, attended by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

And the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh joined the PM and former prisoners of war at a remembrance service at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London.

David Cameron said it was important to “honour the memory of those that died”.

In Tokyo, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito observed a minute’s silence at a service.

VJ Day ended one of the worst episodes in British military history, during which tens of thousands of servicemen were forced to endure the brutalities of prisoner of war camps, where disease was rife and there was a lack of food and water.

It is estimated that there were 71,000 British and Commonwealth casualties of the war against Japan, including more than 12,000 prisoners of war who died in Japanese captivity. More than 2.5 million Japanese military personnel and civilians are believed to have died over the course of the conflict.

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  1. I may have not known where to look but some 10 years ago I read in a book authored by an Englishman that there were 285,000 UK military service member deaths in ww2. My question is- what did the UK include back then? Does it include Indian troops and all those who were part of the British Army?

    I think there are many forgotten parts of WW2. Attu Island is one of the most western islands of the Aleutian chain (off of western Alaska and closer to Japan) is hardly known and yet it was part of the Pacific Theater (including the PTO ribbon and medal for Americans who served there). Ground actions were mainly fought by the US 7th Infantry Division. Almost 1500 Americans were killed. The US Navy provided most of the ships but to my best recall there were many ships of the British Navy and other countries.
    For some reason our brass didn’t think it would be cold enough so they did not outfit the men with proper cold weather clothing. There were thousands of serious frostbite injuries. I don’t think the school system in the USA cares about what these veterans did no matter where it was-WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, and so many other places.

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