City and County announce plans to commemorate VJ Day

News the war has ended breaks in Piccadilly Circus

On Saturday 15 August, Nottingham City Council, along with partners at Nottinghamshire County Council and the districts of Nottinghamshire, will jointly commemorate VJ Day.

See a summary of the City’s commemorative events and links to other organisations at: https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/vj-day-75

While VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East. Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and Victory over Japan Day marks the day that Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, which ended the Second World War.

Tens of thousands of service personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth fought and died in the war against Japan, including those who were held as prisoners of war by the Japanese.

Although events taking place across the UK are still subject to social distancing guidelines and local lockdown restrictions, the Nottinghamshire commemorations that are being held both at Victoria Embankment and St Mary’s church can be watched live on Notts TV from 12:30pm.

The feed will include excerpts from the first commemoration event of the day which is a party of civic dignitaries placing wreaths at the memorial.

The live stream, a first for such an event in the city will be broadcast from St Mary’s Church in the Lace Market where a commemorative service will be led by The Lord-Lieutenant, Sir John Peace, Vice Lord-Lieutenant, and Col. Tim Richmond OBE TD DL.

The High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, the Lord Mayor of Nottingham and a small group of leaders invited from local communities will also attend. This is not a public service and members of the public are asked not to attend.

The Reverend Tom Gillum will lead the congregation through a series of readings, presentations, and pre-recorded interviews and hymns which will reflect the local involvement in the conflict.

There will also be a recorded interview with Colonel James Gunn – a British officer who served with Mountain Artillery Training Centre, Royal Artillery, in GB and India, 1945-1947 and with the 307 Field Regiment (South Notts Hussars), 1951-1966. He will also reflect on his experiences as Colonel in the Royal Artillery at Bullwell Drill Hall, 1962-1966.

Deputy Lieutenant for the County – Dr Jas Bilkhu will represent the Commonwealth. Fighting in the Asia-Pacific took place from Hawaii to North East India. Britain and the Commonwealth’s principal fighting force, the Fourteenth Army, was one of the most diverse in history – more than 40 languages were spoken, and all the world’s major religions represented. The small congregation will reflect this with representatives from the Polish, Muslim, and Gurkha communities, among others.

President of the local Royal British Legion in Nottinghamshire, Colonel David Sneath will also attend the event. His work on local regiments – The Sherwood Foresters and the war in the Far East will be presented as part of the service.

The sermon will be delivered by Major General Timothy Cross, CBE – a retired British Army officer and military logistics expert. He has lectured both in the UK and elsewhere since his retirement and is a visiting professor at several British universities including the University of Nottingham, University of Reading and Cranfield University. Since 2007, he has been army advisor to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.

The Army, Navy, and RAF will be represented as well as the Police and Fire and Rescue Services.

Those unable to watch the service live on Notts TV or via the live Notts TV Facebook feed will be able to see the whole programme at their leisure via the Notts TV catch-up service at www.nottstv.com. There will also be footage available on social media from the afternoon. This will include excerpts from the wreath laying ceremony in the morning.

Cllr Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “It is absolutely right and fitting that, even in the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in, we remember the huge sacrifices that led to Victory in Japan and the end of the Second World War.

“We are pleased to be working with the County Council on commemorating this significant day in our history and that working with Notts TV means we can bring the event to many people that would have come out to pay their respects in usual circumstances but cannot due to social distancing restrictions. Broadcasting live gives everybody a chance to watch the commemorations for Nottinghamshire at a time that is most convenient for them. We will also share images and video from the services via our partners after the event.”

Cllr Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “As we mark VJ Day, I would like to pay tribute to all those who fought in the Far East campaign, and in doing so take time to think and be thankful that were it not for the ultimate sacrifice made all those years ago by brave men and women we would not be enjoying the freedoms we have today. Yours is not the Forgotten Army.

“Nottinghamshire veterans and their families will no doubt reminisce on one of the worst episodes in British Military history, during which tens of thousands of service men and women from across the Empire and Commonwealth were forced to endure the harsh realities of jungle warfare, and in some cases, the brutalities of prisoner of war camps.

“We must not forget that the Fourteenth Army was the most diverse in history. Veterans of the Far East campaign will be at the heart of the commemorations as the nation and Nottinghamshire thank them for their service and sacrifice.” 

Owen Shipton, Head of Output at Notts TV said: “We feel very privileged to be broadcasting the service at St Mary’s church and the commemorations at Victoria Embankment on Notts TV. We are very glad to be giving more people the chance to observe this special moment, especially at a time when social distancing remains so important.”

Information for editors:

Notts TV: Notts TV has been the local TV channel for the city and county since 2014. It broadcasts programmes ranging from local news to history, sport and music 24 hours a day on Freeview channel 7 and Virgin 159. Notts TV is an independent local channel, not part of any larger national broadcast grouping, and is run by a consortium led by Nottingham Trent University and Confetti Media Group.

Nottingham photographer Jagdish Patel and the Nottingham New Art Exchange have created photographs and curated archive footage which will be used during the ceremony.

National commemoration: The commemoration events in Nottinghamshire run alongside those across the nation including:

  • A piper will play “Battle’s Over” at the Imperial War Museums’ HMS Belfast in London at sunrise as part of a tribute entitled ‘Waking Up to Peace’, that will also include pipers playing at dawn in India, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal.
  • At 11am a National Two Minute Silence led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire
  • His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will appear in a photo montage series alongside other Second World War veterans. Each veteran will be pictured with an image of themselves from their time in service in a touching tribute broadcast on large screens across the country marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.
  • Armed Forces musicians will lead the nation in a Service of Remembrance hosted by The Royal British Legion at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The ceremony will involve a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
  • The Red Arrows will conduct flypasts over Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and will conclude their tour of the UK over London.
  • VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute will be broadcast on BBC One. Filmed at Horse Guards Parade, alongside veteran testimony His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will give an address which pays tribute to the veterans and the wartime generation, as the Nation honours, thanks and remembers all those who sacrificed so much during the Second World War. The pre-recorded programme, developed with the Ministry of Defence and involving 300 members of Armed Forces personnel, will highlight the scope and diversity of the British military in 1945. It will include a host of famous faces reading tributes, military bands and dramatic visual projection.


ST MARY’S IN THE LACE MARKET NOTTINGHAM
V J DAY SERVICE 15 August 2020

Welcome by the Rev’d Tom Gillum                                                                         
Hymn
Eternal Father Strong to Save                                                             
Bidding                                                                                                                      
Interview with Col James Gunn                                                                               
The Sherwood Foresters and the war in the Far East
(c/o David Sneath)   
Reconciliation by Walt Whitman (poem)     
Hymn O God Our Help                                                                                               
Reading Revelation 21.1-4                                                    
Sermon General Tim Cross                                                                                        
Prayers                                                                                                                       
Anthem Bring us O Lord by Howells (during which wreaths to be laid at the Burma memorial)
AN ACT OF COMMITMENT
Hymn Guide me O Thou Blessing
National Anthem
Organ Voluntary
Carillon by Herbert Murrill
The Gift of India – Produced by Jagdish Patel and read by Adeel Hannan from the Poem by Sarojini Naidu

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