A number of events are being planned across the country to mark the 70thanniversary of VJ Day (Victory in Japan Day) this coming weekend. VJ Day was the day on which the Second World War Allied forces announced the Japanese surrender, on August 15 1945.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "It is important that we take this opportunity to pay tribute to the courage and fortitude of all those whose actions led to the final victory of Allied Forces in the Second World War.
"This major anniversary is a time to recognise the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives, the veterans who fought, and the prisoners of war and civilian internees who suffered for their country. I would urge the nation to attend the many events up and down the country 70 years on from the victory in Japan."
Veterans, former civilian internees, their descendants and families have been invited to attend a special commemorative event at Horse Guards Parade on Saturday.
The event will feature a spectacular flypast by a Dakota and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, as well as a Royal Navy Swordfish and a contemporary RAF Typhoon. There will also be a drumhead ceremony – conducted “in the field”, when no altar is available ? a wreath-laying service and a reading by the actor Charles Dance of Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘The Road To Mandalay’.
Big screens will be in place around Whitehall to allow members of the public to get involved and there will be commemorative services and special events up and down the country.
Victor Knibb, who is 90 years of age, is the Vice-Chairman of the Burma Star Association and served with the 4th Battalion The Royal West Kent Regiment. He said: "VJ Day means a lot to me. Around 97,000 British and Commonwealth troops died out there and more than 120,000 Japanese died in that war. To me, VJ Day is for the memory of those men who didn’t come back. Without them we wouldn’t have had 70 years of peace and comfort.”