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Bury St Edmunds remembers the soldiers of the Forgotten Army on VJ Day





A service was held today to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day.

The Service of Remembrance took place in the Rose Gardens, Bury St Edmunds this morning.

Hosted by the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and supported by Bury St Edmunds Town Council, standards were raised and wreaths laid by a number of groups and organisations.

Royal British Legion Bury St Edmunds Branch standard bearers prepare to raise their flags. PicturesL Mecha Morton
Royal British Legion Bury St Edmunds Branch standard bearers prepare to raise their flags. PicturesL Mecha Morton

These included RAF Honnington, the Royal Artillary Association, the Royal Naval Association, West Suffolk Council, Royal Marine Association, and West Suffolk Council.

The service, which was this year led by Rev Andy Williams, associate minister in the parish of St Mary with St Peter, Bury St Edmunds, and RBL Bury St Edmunds branch chairman Bernie Millard, was also open to the public.

Rev Andy Williams, associate minister in the parish of St Mary with St Peter, Bury St Edmunds, led the service, along with RBL Bury St Edmunds branch chairman Bernie Millard
Rev Andy Williams, associate minister in the parish of St Mary with St Peter, Bury St Edmunds, led the service, along with RBL Bury St Edmunds branch chairman Bernie Millard

VJ Day commemorates the end of the Second World War in the Pacific theatre and victory over Japan - and all soldiers who fought in the Far East,

Known as 'The Forgotten Army', their operations in the Burma Campaign were overlooked at the time, and remained more obscure than those formations in Europe for long after the war.

The service is held annually in the town but it is the first it has been conducted in front of a new plaque which was dedicated to local VJ soldiers, and which was unveiled in April, with the support of the town council.

Bernie Millard, chair of the Royal British Legion Bury St Edmunds, said: "There were prayers, a reading, am exhortation ceremony, two minutes silence, wreath laying, six in total, The Lord's Prayer, and a blessing.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Tate from the Royal Artillary Association
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Tate from the Royal Artillary Association

"It is the first time the service has been held at the new memorial plaque, which means we, in Bury St Edumunds, at least, will always remember the Far East soldiers."

Representatives from RAF Honnington were also in attendance.
Representatives from RAF Honnington were also in attendance.
Bernie Millard, chair of Royal British Legion Bury St Edmunds branch, lay a wreath at the memorial plaque.
Bernie Millard, chair of Royal British Legion Bury St Edmunds branch, lay a wreath at the memorial plaque.
Bury St Edmunds town councillor Patrick Chung
Bury St Edmunds town councillor Patrick Chung
Royal British Legion Bury St Edmunds Branch standard bearers raise their colours
Royal British Legion Bury St Edmunds Branch standard bearers raise their colours
The memorial service was held in the Rose Garden, Bury St Edmunds
The memorial service was held in the Rose Garden, Bury St Edmunds