Saturday 15th August 2015 marks the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Japan (VJ Day)
This important anniversary of VJ Day is being marked by national charity COFEPOW, as part of its aim to ensure that World War Two Far East Prisoners of War are never forgotten.
Key events to commemorate Victory in Japan Day
Saturday 15th August 2015
At 2pm, there will be a Service of Remembrance at Lichfield Cathedral to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day. There will be an Address by Terry Waite CBE, and the service will be followed by performances from the West Midlands Fellowship Band and the West Midlands Police Choir.
Sunday 16th August 2015
At 12.15pm, there will be a service at the COFEPOW Memorial Building at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire. The service will be conducted by David Childs CBE RN (Rtd) and will be followed by the blessing and re-dedication of the building and the opening of the new FEPOW Remembrance Garden. There will also be a Royal Air Force fly past by a world famous DC-3 Dakota Transport Plane.
Key facts about Victory in Japan
• At 6.10 on the evening of 15th February 1942, Lieutenant General Percival surrenders to the Japanese in Singapore.
• Almost 200,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers became prisoners of war in the Far East.
• Thousands were held in Singapore’s Changi Prison, where many died.
• Thousands more left Singapore on prison ships – “hell ships” – to be used as forced labour in other parts of Asia.
• Nearly 10,000 of these men died building the Burma-Thailand railway.
• Thousands of others died as a result of starvation, barbaric treatment and tropical diseases.
• Civilians fared no better. Tens of thousands were killed by the Japanese.
• The Japanese surrendered on 15th August 1945.
• By then, 50,000 prisoners of war had been killed.