Somerset marks 75th VJ Day anniversary

A momentous day in history will be marked on Saturday with the 75th anniversary of VJ Day – the day that brought the Second World War to an end.

Chair of Somerset County Council, Councillor Nigel Taylor, and Chair of the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant Partnership, Councillor Rod Williams, will be joining a small ceremony at 40 Commando Royal Marines to remember and recognise those who served and sacrificed during the conflict in the Far East.

Due to coronavirus restrictions on large gatherings, numbers are strictly limited at 40 Commando’s base, Norton Manor Camp, near Taunton.

Councillor Williams said: “Compared to the war in Europe and North Africa, the war in the Far East is relatively little known. 75 years on, in 2020, we should remember the debt we owe to our parents’ and grandparents’ generation who lived through, fought and won the Second World War.

“And from the Memorial Garden of Norton Manor Camp, I will give silent thanks to the men and women in our Intelligence Services, in our Armed Forces and in other organisations who guard us while we sleep.”

The nation will be marking the day with the Royal British Legion (RBL) encouraging people to join commemorations virtually. Events include a service at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) in Staffordshire, a national moment of Remembrance, and an interactive VJ Day map hosted on the RBL website telling the stories of those who lived through the conflict.

Activity on the day will begin with a national Two Minute Silence at 11am on 15 August which will be the focal point of the commemorative service at the NMA and will be led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

Throughout all its VJ Day 75 activity the Legion will be acknowledging the contribution of the Commonwealth forces, who came from across Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and Australasia to form one of the most multicultural forces in history.

Details of the Legion’s plans and a link to the interactive map can be accessed on the Legion’s website at People can follow the activity on Twitter: @PoppyLegion Facebook: OfficialPoppyLegion and on Instagram: @RoyalBritishLegion or by using the hashtag #VJDay75.

The County Council leads the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant Partnership which brings together charities, local authorities, other public sector organisations, businesses, communities, individuals and the military in a pledge of support between local residents and the Armed Forces community in Somerset. There’s more information here: