The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612 e.
75th Anniversary VJ Day
14 August 2020
On 15 August 2020 we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day, Victory in the Pacific Day, marking both the surrender of Japan and the end of the Second World War.
Victory over Japan Day is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end. The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made – August 15, 1945, in Japan, and because of time zone differences, August 14, 1945 – as well as to September 2, 1945, when the surrender document was signed, officially ending World War II.
At this time we remember and recognise all those, in particular OAs, who served and sacrificed in the Far East ultimately bringing an end to the Second World War. Also the forgotten history of those who fought in the conflict; the atrocious and harrowing conditions in which they served and were held prisoner.
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 - over 40 languages were spoken, and all the world’s major religions represented. The descendants of many of the Commonwealth veterans of that army are today part of multicultural communities up and down the country, a lasting legacy to the success and comradeship of those who fought.
The Japanese viewed the prisoners as expendable labour for their war effort and thousands died building roads, bridges, and working on other Japanese projects. The most notorious project was the Burma-Thailand railway or 'Death Railway'. Opened in October 1943, it covered over 1,250 miles and cost the lives of over 15,000 prisoners of war and 80,000 native labourers o fought in the Asia-Pacific.
We remember those OAs who lost their lives and gave their tomorrow for our today. A wall memorial with their names incised in the marble tablet is displayed in the School Chapel. Greater love has no one than this: To lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13.
During these challenging and uncertain times, things will get better. We will meet again. Stay safe.
James James-Crook
President, OA Society
The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612
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