Red Arrows flypast over London on VE Day 75th anniversary 080520 CREDIT MOD.jpg
VJ Day

How Is VJ Day 75 Being Commemorated?

The Red Arrows will fly over Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London for the first time since the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Red Arrows flypast over London on VE Day 75th anniversary 080520 CREDIT MOD.jpg

Commemorations for the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ) Day will go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Family will lead tributes at the weekend, as the country remembers Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces on 15 August 1945, which effectively ended the Second World War.

It comes just three months after celebrations to mark VE (Victory in Europe) Day were disrupted by even tighter COVID-19 restrictions in May.

Many of the commemorations were moved online, as people held socially distanced parties from their doorsteps or gardens.

The Queen addressed the nation and evoked the wartime spirit by calling on the public to "never give up, never despair".

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are due to take part in a service of remembrance and thanksgiving at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The service will begin at 9:30am and will be televised on the BBC. 

At 11am, Charles and Camilla will lead a national two-minute silence for the fallen.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to Tintagel Castle while on a three day visit to Cornwall. 200720 CREDIT PA
Charles and Camilla will lead a national two-minute silence on Saturday (Picture: PA).

Several veterans will be there to pay respects to their comrades, after which the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will conduct a flypast.

For the first time since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Red Arrows will fly over Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London.

The flight path is to include the home of the Chelsea Pensioners, where three Burma Star recipients live in retirement.

The Duke of Edinburgh will make a rare public appearance on large screens placed across the country, displaying a photo montage of war veterans.

Prince Philip, who celebrated his 99th birthday this year, witnessed the Japanese surrender in 1945.  

He was a First Lieutenant on board the destroyer HMS Whelp which was present in Tokyo Bay when Japanese officials signed the formal surrender on the USS Missouri on 2 September 1945. 

The ship's company were able to watch and listen as the document was signed. 

Later on Saturday, the Duke of Cambridge will salute people’s sacrifices in 'VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute’.

Filmed at Horse Guards Parade, the pre-recorded BBC programme will also feature veterans’ accounts.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week said he wants to remember the veterans who "were among the last to come home" and "brought an end to the Second World War" which "changed the course of history for the better”.

Fundraising hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore called on people to "stop, think and be thankful" about the "ultimate sacrifices" made on VJ Day.

Famous picture of a US Navy sailor kissing a nurse on VJ Day in 1945 (Picture: Victor Jorgensen/US Navy).

People are being urged to make virtual acts of remembrance, like sharing photos, tributes and stories on the websites of charities such as the Royal British Legion (RBL) and Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

The RBL had to cancel plans to take veterans back to the Far East, to sites in north-east India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and Singapore.

However, the Armed Forces charity has teamed up with the CWGC to lay crosses on headstones of fallen comrades in the Far East on behalf of veterans.

An interactive map and storytelling section on the RBL website will show the wide range of nations personnel came from. The hub also shares experiences of those who lived through the war.

The CWGC continues to run its own online Wall of Remembrance, launched for VE Day to collate families’ memories and tributes.

It is also working with the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), National Army Museum (NAM) and Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM) to create a series of free virtual events for the public broadcast online from 14 August.

Cover image: The Red Arrows fly over the London Eye for the 75th anniversary of VE Day in May (Picture: Red Arrows).