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How to commemorate VJ Day



This Saturday, we will commemorate 75 years since VJ Day.

What is VJ Day?

On 15 August 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied forces and the Second World War officially ended. After 6 years of war, it was a day of jubilation and has been marked each year since.

The Not Forgotten has had the privilege of supporting many World War Two veterans, including those who fought in the Far East; their resilience and good humour have inspired and motivated us all. It is a huge shame that COVID-19 has stolen this wonderful generation’s celebration from them this year.

Although we’re not able to hold big events and public gatherings to celebrate this significant anniversary, in the true British style we will all keep calm, carry on and celebrate safely from home. It’s up to us to make our WWII veterans feel valued, cared for and Not Forgotten.

Below are some ideas on how you can get involved and so there’s no excuse to not get in the party mood!

LEARN ABOUT VJ DAY

  • The official VJ Day website has a great short summary of the final weeks of the Second World War.
  • Explore the Imperial War Museum’s archives.
  • Read the stories of some of those who served during WWII.
  • Visit The Royal British Legion’s website to hear first hand accounts of the War, contribute to their interactive map and find a plethora of resources.

REMEMBER THOSE WHO FOUGHT

Whilst this was undoubtedly a day of joyful celebration, for some of those still serving in the Far East at the time, victory was bitter-sweet. Many Commonwealth soldiers had been captured by the Japanese and treated very poorly in POW camps.

One such individual was the late George Housego MBE, who served with the Royal Artillery during the war. In 2014, George told us his story as part of our portrait series:

TUNE IN TO THE BBC

  • BBC One, from 9.30-11.30am
    Coverage of the remembrance commemoration taking place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire
  • BBC One, 11am
    HRH The Prince of Wales will lead a national two minute silence.
  • BBC One, from 8.30-10pm
    Coverage of a unique VJ Day event taking place at Horse Guards Parade in London. Joanna Lumley will narrate the event, which will chart the crucial campaign that led to the end of the Second World War. HRH The Duke of Cambridge will pay tribute to our WWII generation.

JOIN THE NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM’S EVENTS

The NAM have got a few things lined up for this weekend, including:

TRACE YOUR FAMILY HISTORY

King George VI, H.M. Queen Elizabeth, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, of United Kingdom, Portrait, World War II. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
  • The Imperial War Museum’s archives are full to the brim with information. Their website offers some great advice on how to trace your family’s history.
  • Subscribe to ancestry.co.uk or findmypast.co.uk to search through your family tree.
  • Or why not browse The National Archives – you never know what, or who, you might find.

GET CREATIVE

WHAT HAS THE NOT FORGOTTEN BEEN UP TO?

From left to right, Mike Marandi, Linda Watts, Jason Allen, Annie Riley and Mickie Driver

In July, The Not Forgotten launched an outdoor, socially distanced, C19 secure care home concert tour called Those Not Forgotten Years. Over a total of 7 weeks, we will put on 60 concerts across the UK for our WWII generation. If they cannot go out and party, we will bring the part to them! Find out more.

And what have we got in the pipeline?

Lucky you should ask as we’ve got some big plans afoot! Later in the year, we will be delivering WWII themed goody boxes to our Second World War veterans. More information will follow soon, so watch this space…