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Royal Family to lead tributes marking VJ Day 75

Photo: Crown Copyright

 

Members of the Royal Family will lead commemorations marking 75 years since the end of World War Two on August 15, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced.

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. His Royal Highness will lead a two minute silence at 11am at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire as part of a special televised service.

A number of veterans, including 93 year-old Albert Wills who served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Indefatigable, will be present at the service to pay their respects to their fallen comrades and will represent the surviving veterans of the war in the Far East still alive in the UK today.

Music at the service will be provided by The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will take part in a flypast following the two minute silence.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will feature in ‘VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute,’ a special programme filmed at Horse Guards Parade that will be broadcast on BBC One. Alongside veteran testimony, The Duke will honour and give thanks to all those who sacrificed so much during World War Two.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, who was present on board HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay for the signing of the Japanese surrender, will feature on large screens in locations across the country in a poignant photo montage showcasing living World War Two veterans.

A piper will play “Battle’s Over” at the Imperial War Museums’ HMS Belfast in London at sunrise as part of a tribute entitled ‘Waking Up to Peace’, that will also include pipers playing at dawn in India, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal.

Then in the first such flight since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Red Arrows will conduct a UK wide flypast tribute over Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London with its path including The Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to three Burma Star recipients.

Whilst VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of armed forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East. Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and Victory over Japan Day marks the day that Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, which ended the war.

During Wolrd War Two, fighting in the Asia-Pacific took place from Hawaii to North East India. Britain and the Commonwealth’s principle fighting force, the Fourteenth Army, was one of the most diverse in history – more than 40 languages were spoken, and all the world’s major religions represented.

The Government’s events will pay tribute to the tens of thousands of service personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth who fought and died in the war against Japan, including all those who were held as prisoners of war by the Japanese.

 

For more on how to get involved, visit: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/

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