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Westminster City Council commemorates VJ Day

Thu, 13/08/2020
Crowds dancing in Oxford Circus, London.
VJ celebrations in Oxford Circus, August 1945 © IWM EA 75898

This Saturday (15 August), Westminster City Council will join the country in remembering the sacrifices of thousands of servicemen and women on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. 

On August 15, 1945, the Second World War finally drew to a close with the surrender by Japanese forces in the Asia-Pacific theatre of operations. At the time of this momentous occasion, some 365,000 British and more than 1.5 million Commonwealth troops were deployed in the region, far from home. 

The end of the war was met with a mixture of joy and relief by the West, with the City of Westminster seeing impromptu parties, civilians and military personnel dancing in the streets, and even Allied soldiers forming conga lines along Regent Street. As we approach this key anniversary, the country continues to commemorate the date, with HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall leading a two-minute silence at the National Memorial Arboretum. 

In London, the RAF Red Arrows will perform a fly-past over the city, the Ministry of Defence will be taking over the Piccadilly Lights for a commemoration, and the famous bells will ring out at Westminster Abbey the mark the occasion. 

Westminster City Council Leader, Cllr Rachael Robathan:

“This weekend we will be marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day and the service of British & Commonwealth troops who fought in the Far East. It is a day for us to reflect on the commitment and bravery of those soldiers, fighting thousands of miles away, who saw the Second World War finally come to a close.

“Whilst current circumstances may mean that we cannot mark this occasion as we would have hoped, I urge all Westminster residents to take a moment this Saturday to give thanks to the servicemen and women, past and present, who have dedicated their lives to keeping our country safe.”

Westminster City Council Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Mark Shearer:

“The City of Westminster continues to have a special and historic connection to our country’s armed forces, and this weekend we will be joining the nation in proudly commemorating the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. 

“On this poignant occasion, we pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of thousands of men and women who have dedicated their lives for their country in the past, and give thanks to those who continue to keep our nation safe around the world today.”

Last updated: 14 August 2020