The following update has been shared by Captain Lance Gill, Controller Compliance & VJ Day 75 Lead, Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League:
The 75th Anniversary of VJ Day takes place on 15 August 2020, when the nation will commemorate this historic moment in time. You will appreciate that there are many organisations involved in this act of remembrance and RCEL has been working with many of them to ensure that the contribution made by our Commonwealth veterans receives the recognition it deserves.
- Remembering the exceptional contribution made by all Commonwealth troops who served with British Army units of the Fourteenth Army, Royal Navy ships and Royal Air Force squadrons and all Services fighting throughout the Pacific.
- Highlighting the diversity and multi-cultural nature of those who fought against tyranny and for democracy and freedom.
- Ensuring that those who served with the ‘Forgotten Army’ are not forgotten and are marked in history as an inspiration to future generations.
Our Grand President, General The Lord Richards, has reinforced this message in a specially commissioned video which also includes an interview with Pte Joseph Hammond who served with the 82nd (West African) Division in Burma and wreath laying ceremonies across the Commonwealth in Rangoon (Burma), Kohima (Nagaland India), Accra (Ghana) and Kingston (Jamaica). This poignant tribute to our Commonwealth veterans can be viewed through this link: https://vimeo.com/446399367/f751aba57e
In addition to this VJ Day 75 commemorative video montage, there have been numerous interviews with veterans that have been arranged with the BBC, ABF The Soldiers Charity and the National Army Museum and have been pre-recorded, and there are planned events taking place during the week building up to and including 15 August; a full list of interviews/events and links can be found on our website http://www.commonwealthveterans.org.uk/v-j-day.php and includes:
- Grand President Crowdcast with the National Army Museum on 14 August 2020 – https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/commonwealth-contribution-far-east
- Captain Tom Moore and Pte Joseph Hammond in conversation with the National Army Museum – https://www.nam.ac.uk/series/vj-day-75
- Grand President and veteran interviews with ABF The Soldiers Charity – https://soldierscharity.org/podcasts/
- Commemorative event at the National Memorial Arboretum on 15 August 2020 – Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Chairman of the Commonwealth Veterans Review Committee) and long-time supporter and Friend of The League has kindly agreed to represent RCEL at this event. https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2020/vj-day
I cannot sign off without recognising and thanking the numerous people and organisations that have made all these events possible, The Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldiers Charity, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, National Army Museum, H4FA, BBC, British Embassy Rangoon, DA Accra Ghana, Charles Chasie (KES Nagaland), Jamaica Defence Force, Johanna Lewin (RCEL Project Officer Caribbean), Veterans Administration Ghana and Derrick Cobbinah (RCEL Project Officer Africa). Thank you all.