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VJ Day commemoration

Group of people standing around 3 sides of a carpet bed

The Mayor of Farnham Councillor Pat Evans together with Brigadier Roger Hood QVRM TD DL and Roger Brown Chairman of the Royal British Legion Farnham led Farnham’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VJ Day on Saturday (15 August).

It was exactly 75 years ago to the day, that the nation heard the long-awaited news that Japan had surrendered and World War Two had ended.

To mark the anniversary, the Farnham branch of the Royal British Legion organised a small ceremony at the war memorial in Gostrey Meadow to remember those who lost their lives in the far east.  

After being welcomed by Roger Brown, the Mayor was invited to say a few words and said: “Nearly 2.5 million men served in the all-volunteer Indian Army and a further 60,000 in the Royal Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The end of the war only came after the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.”

She added: “One of the famous battles in the Far East was one which is a battle honour for one of the forebears of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, our own Reservists battalion based here in Farnham. This battle in 1944 was so fierce that General Stopford compared it with the Somme in 1916.

“Often the Second World War highlights the contribution of Britain and America and its Allies, but VJ Day is an important occasion to remember the contribution of some of those listed on the town’s war memorials who fought alongside many others who make up today’s commonwealth of nations.”

The Mayor concluded by reading a poem called Lines of Duty by Dennis Leedham which captured how gruelling life in the trenches in the far east must have been. Hamish Robertson played a meditative lament on the bagpipes.

After the reading of the Ode of Remembrance, bugler Graeme Verroken played the Last Post and everybody observed a two minute silence. 

Speaking after the event, Councillor Pat Evans said: “Although social distancing prevented the commemoration from being a large-scale event, I am pleased we were able to remember those from Farnham who served in the Far East.”

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