How communities across Northumberland paid their respects on 75th anniversary of VJ Day

Ceremonies to commemorate the anniversary of VJ Day were held across Northumberland on Saturday.
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In Alnwick, Mayor Lynda Wearn was joined at the war memorial by several veterans, deputy mayor Geoff Watson and Cllr Gordon Castle in his role as Northumberland County Council’s veterans champion.

Around 30 residents and visitors watched the commemoration from Column Field which began with a welcome from the Mayor in which she thanked people for attending and gave a brief explanation about VJ Day.

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Whilst VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still involved in bitter fighting in the Far East.

The VJ Day ceremony in Alnwick.The VJ Day ceremony in Alnwick.
The VJ Day ceremony in Alnwick.

VJ Day (Victory over Japan Day) when Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, effectively ended the Second World War.

Cllr Wearn said: “The British and Commonwealth’s principal fighting force, the Fourteenth Army, was one of the most diverse in history with over 40 languages spoken, and all the world’s major religions represented.

"So this year we meet to remember the contribution of all Commonwealth and Allied Forces, without whom victory and the freedoms and way of life we enjoy today would not have been possible.”

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This was followed by a two-minute silence which was ended by the strains of Battle’s O’er by piper Carole Robb.

Mayor of Alnwick Lynda Wearn lays flowers at the war memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.Mayor of Alnwick Lynda Wearn lays flowers at the war memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.
Mayor of Alnwick Lynda Wearn lays flowers at the war memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

Cllr Wearn then read the poem Better in Peace, a piece adapted from The Armed Man a Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins before laying a floral tribute of white roses and lilies at the War Memorial.

The commemoration ended with Roger Daniel, Alnwick’s Town Crier, in unison with other town criers across the country, delivering the ‘Cry for Peace’.

In Amble, a small, unofficial and well socially distanced gathering took place. Individuals laid wreaths and splays after a two minute silence at 11am.

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In Rothbury, dignitaries were joined by five pipers of the Rothbury Highland Pipe Band who were there from dawn along with the RAFA flag and a British Legion tribute of flowers.

VJ Day in Rothbury.VJ Day in Rothbury.
VJ Day in Rothbury.

VJ Day was marked in a number of ways across the country with socially distanced commemorations taking place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire led by the Prince of Wales.

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