Veterans mark VJ Day in Thetford

Standards raised outside Kings House in Thetford to mark VJ Day

Standards raised outside Kings House in Thetford to mark VJ Day - Credit: Archant

Veterans of the Second World War and campaigns since have bowed their heads in remembrance and gratitude to mark 70 years since VJ Day.

Members of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) and Royal British Legion (RBL) were joined by the public and Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOWs) in Thetford on Saturday to mark seven decades since an agreement was reached to end a conflict which touched all corners of the planet.

In the first of two events, crowds congregated at the FEPOW Memorial Tree nears Nuns Bridges for a wreath laying service.

Joined by FEPOW veteran, Jimmy Hook, the event saw a parade of standards march to the tree and Rev Julian Sanders give a short address.

Wreaths were laid by the RAF Honington, the RBL, RAFA, 1109 (Thetford) Squadron ATC and Mr Hook, among others.

Soon after, a parade and service was held at King’s House.

Canon Bob Baker led, with attendants including Gordon Bambridge, chairman of Breckland Council, Robert Kybird, mayor of Thetford, and representatives from RAF Honington, RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.

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The solemn service paid tribute to the many men and women who lost their lives during the Second World War, with particular mention of those who served in the Far East.

John MacPherson, chairman of RAFA Thetford, said the effort was a chance to recognise the sacrifice of generations past.

“It’s 70 years since the Japanese surrendered and there are people in Thetford who were prisoners of war so it is only right that we should commemorate what took place.

“We were joined by a couple of POWs and widows of POWS, and with only a few left, it was fitting that they attended,” he said.

Following the event, a street collection by RAFA and the RBL raised £283 in just two hours.

Both groups thanked the public for their contributions.

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