Charles pays homage to the ‘forgotten army’ on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day | UK News

0
57


Prince Charles paid tribute to World War II veterans on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, saying they should be ‘respected, thanked and cherished’.

Although Victory in Europe Day arrived a little over three months earlier, it was not until August 15, 1945 that World War II finally ended with the surrender of Japan.

Charles, who laid wreaths with the Duchess of Cornwall at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, said those who fought in the Far East had been labeled the ‘forgotten army’.



PM: ‘We will remember them’

About 40 veterans attended the VJ Day anniversary service.

Richard Day, 93, who fought in the decisive battle of Kohima in northeast India, said the worst part was ‘crossing rivers at night’ then spending the wee hours in wet clothes with wet equipment.

He said the Japanese were “very determined for their emperor” and “didn’t seem to be afraid at all”.

More than 71,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers died in the Far East campaign, including 13,000 who died in brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

In a speech, the Prince of Wales said many ‘soldiers, nurses and other staff felt anger and disappointment at the way they had been treated when they finally returned home from a war which, from the public perspective, ended on May 8, 1945 (VE day).

He added, “Let us say, they and serving veterans are not forgotten, instead you are respected, thanked and cherished with all our hearts and forever. “

Prince Charles lays a crown
Image:
Prince Charles lays a wreath at the National Memorial Arboretum
Prince Charles helps 97-year-old veteran Darbara Singh Bhullar lay wreath
Image:
Prince of Wales helps 97-year-old veteran Darbara Singh Bhullar lay wreath

Boris Johnson read the Exhortation before a two-minute silence, which was followed by a Memorial Battle of Britain flypast, involving three Spitfires, a Hurricane and a Lancaster bomber.

In a letter to veterans, the Prime Minister said: “You fought for freedom, ended World War II, and restored peace and prosperity to the world. On this anniversary, and every day thereafter, you will remember. ”

In a statement, the Queen spoke of the “joy at the end of the conflict”, but also recalled the “terrible devastation it has caused”.

Prince Charles talks to a veteran
Image:
Prince Charles speaking to a veteran
Duchess of Cornwall chats with WWII veteran
Image:
The Duchess of Cornwall chatting after the service

The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, served in World War II as a naval officer and will appear alongside other veterans on a number of large screens across the UK, in a photo montage showing veterans today and when they served.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News those who fought faced “horrible conditions” and it was “time to remember what they did”.

Mr Wallace added that four million people from the Commonwealth and India had contributed to the fight.

He said it was a collective effort involving “different nations, different races and different religions”.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers remarks at memorial service in Tokyo
Image:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a memorial service in Tokyo

The Red Arrows had to cancel a flight over Edinburgh due to unsuitable conditions. Group frontman Martin Pert tweeted that the weather was “particularly difficult”.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged “never to repeat the tragedy of war” and Emperor Naruhito expressed “deep remorse” over the war’s past.



Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace lays a wreath at the Whitehall Cenotaph

‘When we forget, the world gets worse’

Veteran Roy Miller, 96, joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15 and served in the gunnery division aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable in the Far East.

Speaking to Sky News from his home in Surrey, he said: “People often ask me if I celebrated when it all ended, but it wasn’t joy at all. It was a relief. It was an end. It was a feeling of relief that this was all coming to an end and we weren’t going to get shot anymore. “

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here