Sudbury Town Council invites you to join us online on:
Saturday 15th August 2020
for the virtual ceremony of the
75th anniversary of VJ Day
Official ceremony starts at 11am, order of ceremony:
British War Memorial, The Croft, Sudbury
Welcome Prayers led by Rev Canon Cheryl Collins
The Town Mayor, Councillor Jack Owen Reading of names listed on the WWII Memorial Rev Canon Cheryl Collins & Royal British Legion Officer
Exhortation – Royal British Legion Officer Last Post
Silence ~ Revellie Kohima
Royal British Legion Officer Wreaths to be laid by The Deputy Lord Lieutenant, The Town Mayor & Royal British Legion Officer accompanied by Tricia Drawbridge, Town Piper
Closing Prayers ~ National Anthem
At 6am on the 15th August 2020 outside St. Peter’s on the Market Hill, Tricia Drawbridge the Town Piper will play Battle’s O’er to officially start this special anniversary day.
VJ Day and honouring local servicemen
VE Day 1945 was a landmark time in British history, a time to welcome home those who had survived the horror of the war in Europe back to the families they left behind. That happy occasion was not to be for many from Suffolk as the fighting in the Far East would go on until the 15th August 1945 and the Japanese surrender - VJ Day.
The 4th and 5th Battalions of the Suffolk Territorials were sent to the Far East, but their active role in the war lasted a mere 10 days. These men ended up as Prisoners of War working on the infamous Thailand-Burma railway. Many of these men were from Sudbury and local villages.
Tens of thousands of British servicemen endured the brutalities of Japan's prisoner of war camps during World War Two, one of the worst episodes in British military history. Never, before or since, have such large numbers in Britain's Armed Forces been subjected to such extremes of geography, disease and man's inhumanity to man as were the prisoners of the Japanese in World War Two.
A quarter died in captivity. The rest returned home sick and damaged. For three-and-a-half years, they faced unrelentingly lethal conditions. Diseases were rife and malaria and dysentery were almost universal. On top of these horrific conditions, the majority of PoWs worked as slave labourers to keep Japan's heavy industry going. They toiled relentlessly on docks, airfields, in coalmines, shipbuilding yards, steel and copper works and the infamous Burma railway.
Less is known about the extraordinary spirit of the prisoners of war - a spirit the cruelty of their captors failed to conquer. It is a remarkable story of how they overcame appalling adversity during the war - and how, having survived, they had to do so again in peace because they were so haunted by the horrors they had endured.
One crucial means of survival in the camps was to form strong bonds with fellow prisoners - close friendships were a lifeline during captivity. They shared food and workload and nursed each other when sick.
A quarter of the prisoners died, but 37,500 British servicemen who had initially been taken into captivity lived to see VJ day. Many thousands of them had to wait up to five weeks or longer, before the camps they were in could even be found by the Allies and some arrived home more than five months after the war in Europe had ended.
On the 15th August 2020 we remember and pay tribute to those who suffered both during captivity and afterwards and to those who did not return. The Second world War affected the lives of millions of people around the world. To read some of the veterans stories visit:
We thank you for joining us in honouring all those who sacrificed so much for the many freedoms we enjoy today.
As the sun rises: Pipers of the world pay tribute to the veterans of VJ Day
Many pipers around the world recently marked the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. To mark Victory in Japan (VJ) Day pipers will once again lead the world in commemorating the many sacrifices made by playing Battle's O'er
At 0600 hrs, on the 15th August 2020 outside St. Peter’s on the Market Hill, Tricia Drawbridge the Town Piper will play Battle’s O’er to officially start this special anniversary day