THE PRINCE OF WALES AND THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL TO LEAD THE NATION IN REMEMBRANCE ON THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF VJ DAY
Saturday 15th August 2020
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend a national service of remembrance marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Their Royal Highnesses will lead a national two minute silence at the event. The Prince will lay a wreath and deliver a speech as part of the service, before joining Her Royal Highness to meet veterans and descendants of those who served in the Asia- Pacific region.
The Prince and The Duchess attended events in London for the 70th anniversary of VJ Day in August 2015.
Victory over Japan Day
Whilst VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still involved in bitter fighting in the Asia-Pacific region. Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) marks the day Japan surrendered on the 15 August 1945, which ended the Second World War.
Fighting 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 in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year’s commemorations remember the contribution of all Commonwealth and Allied Forces without whom victory, the freedoms and way of life enjoyed today, would not have been possible.
National Memorial Arboretum and The Royal British Legion
The National Memorial Arboretum (NMA), located in Staffordshire, celebrates lives lived and commemorates lives lost in service. Part of The Royal British Legion, it is the nation’s year-round centre of remembrance and home to over 350 memorials nestled amongst almost 30,000 trees.
The Legion has worked in partnership with UK Government and the BBC to stage the socially-distanced commemorations at the NMA, home to numerous memorials that are linked to the campaign in the Asia-Pacific region during the Second World War. These include The Far East Prisoners of War memorial Building, Sumatra Railway, Burma Railway (including some original rails and sleepers), Burma Star Memorial, Chindit Memorial, and the original Lych Gate from Changi Prison in Singapore amongst many others.
Their Royal Highnesses last visited the NMA in May 2018 when they attended a dedication service for the National Memorial to British Victims of Overseas Terrorism.
Burma Star Memorial Fund
Earlier this year, The Prince of Wales hosted a reception for the Burma Star Memorial Fund at Clarence House. During the reception His Royal Highness met some of the last surviving Burma Star veterans and delivered a speech, which is available to read here.
The Prince also became Patron of the Fund, following in the footsteps of both his great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten, who was Patron of the Fund’s connected charity, the Burma Star Association, from its inauguration in 1951 and his father, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, who succeeded Lord Mountbatten as Patron in 1979.
Their Royal Highnesses have attended many 75th anniversary commemorative events relating to the Second World War. In June last year, The Prince and The Duchess joined events in Normandy remembering the D-Day landings and in September His Royal Highness visited The Netherlands to commemorate the Battle of Arnhem.
In January of this year, Their Royal Highnesses marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz at separate events in Israel and Poland, and most recently marked VE Day by leading the nation in a moment of silence at the Balmoral War Memorial.