75th Anniversary of VJ Day

Remembrance Service

VJ Day75

A special ceremony has taken place in Motherwell to commemorate the end of the Second World War in the Far East.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony was scaled back this year in accordance with Scottish Government guidance on public gatherings.

The event was attended by Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire Lady Susan Haughey; Depute Provost Tom Castles, Armed Forces and Veteran Champion Councillor David Cullen, Campbell Thomson from the Lanarkshire Yeomanry Group, and Father Bill Bergin who all left wreaths at the War Memorial outside the Civic Centre to pay tribute to those involved in the conflict.

VE Day (Victory in Europe) marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, while many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in battle in the Far East. Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) marks the day Japan surrendered on the 15 August 1945, which effectively ended the Second World War.

The Far East campaign was fought by British, Allied and Commonwealth forces between December 1941 and August 1945. While much of the focus was on the war in Europe, the Far East campaign became known as 'the Forgotten War' and the troops serving in it 'the Forgotten Army'. Many thousands of men were captured and endured years of captivity in brutal prisoner of war camps.

Councillor Cullen said: "The conflict in the Far East lasted longer than the war in Europe, encompassing almost the entire region from Hawaii to North East India and on a scale that we cannot truly begin to imagine.

"Three quarters of a century later our gratitude and admiration for those who fought so bravely for freedom many thousands of miles from home remains undiminished.

"In Lanarkshire, we take great pride in the local men and women from around the UK who so bravely fought for freedom in the Far East. The war in that part of the world took a horrendous human toll with many members of the 155th Lanarkshire Yeomanry Field Regiment either killed or captured and becoming prisoners of war in the most terrible camp conditions imaginable.

"Today is an opportunity to reflect on this important part of our history. We are all eternally grateful for their sacrifice and we must make sure their bravery is never forgotten."

A to Z of services