Surrey remembers VJ Day 75

Saturday 15 August 2020 marked the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan) commemorating the end of the Second World War.

Although VE Day (Victory in Europe) had seen the end of the war in Europe some three months earlier, the bitter battle continued in the Far East for many thousands of British, Commonwealth and Allied Armed Forces troops.

Fighting in the Asia-Pacific took place from Hawaii to North East India. The Fourteenth Army, the principle fighting force for Britain and the Commonwealth was one of the most diverse in history, with over 40 languages spoken and all the major religions represented.

The huge magnitude of the war here is often overlooked and the price of victory was enormous. Our thanks to Colonel Patrick Crowley DL who has shared his insights with us.

How the anniversary was marked in Surrey

Unfortunately, many of the bigger plans for marking VJ Day had to be postponed due to the need to socially distance and stay safe. Small local events still took place across the county. Many residents also came together in spirit at 11am, joining people across the nation for two minute silence to remember the sacrifices of those who gave so much on our behalf.

Col Patrick Crowley DL gave the address at Guildford Catherdral's VD Day Service, with prayers by Michael More-Molyneux - Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Shahid Azeem DL - High Sheriff of Surrey and Tony Samuels - Chairman of Surrey County Council. As numbers were strictly limited the service was streamed online.

Find out more

The Surrey History Centre have brought together stories, images and artefacts in their collection to illustrate related to VJ Day on their webpage WWII - Britain's Forgotten Army. These include images of some of the celebrations that took place in Surrey in 1945 and also stories and documents relating to those held in the notoriously brutal POW camps.

There are also lots of online resources you use to find out more about VJ Day and the Second World War:

Share your story

You can still share your story or message of thanks on the Royal British Legion interactive map to help ensure the contribution of those who served in the Far East is not forgotten.