VJ Day remembered

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A SERVICE of remembrance organised by the Lanarkshire Yeomanry Group was held recently to commemorate Victory over Japan Day.

War veterans, civic dignitaries and members of the public gathered outside the war memorial at Motherwell Civic Centre on Wednesday, August 15, to take part in the service and wreath laying ceremony.

This year marks the 67th anniversary of VJ Day which is the day the Japanese army surrendered to Allied forces which, effectively, marked the end of World War II.

North Lanarkshire Provost Jim Robertson joined South Lanarkshire Provost Eileen Logan, depute lieutenant of Lanarkshire Colonel David Cranstoun and chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council Gavin Whitefield, all pictured above with veterans, to mark the anniversary and pay tribute to all those involved in the conflict.

The Rev Paul Grant from St Ninians Church of Scotland in Stonehouse addressed the ceremony, which included an introduction from Campbell Thomson of the Lanarkshire Yeomanry Group and contributions from the Children of the Far East POW Association, the Royal British Legion and the Burma Star Association.

Provost Jim Robertson said: “We in Lanarkshire are only too well aware of the sacrifice made by local men and, indeed men from all over the UK, who served with Lanarkshire regiments in the Far East during World War II.

“This service gives us a chance to show our respect and admiration for those of the ‘Forgotten Army’. And it is not just the men that we recognise.

“Those dark and difficult years, waiting back home were anxious and fearful families who had no idea what was happening to their loved ones in those far off lands.

“The council is pleased to have been of help to the Children of the Far East POW Association, the Royal British Legion and the Lanarkshire Yeomanry Group in organising the service.”

The Lanarkshire Yeomanry Group was formed in 1819 and the troops were used to quell civil disobedience originating from the onset of the industrial revolution.

After the fall on Singapore on February 15, 1942, the men of the 155th (Lanarkshire Yeomanary) became prisoners of war and suffered terribly at the hands of their captors.

During the three-and-a-half years that followed, many more men died as POWs than had fallen in action.

Some were put to work on the infamous Death Railway built between Thailand and Burma, in the depths of the Kinkaseki Copper Mine in Taiwan, or in the other death camps spread over the Far East.

For more pictures, see this week’s Kilsyth Chronicle or Cumbernauld News dated Wednesday, August 29.

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