Pontefract commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day

A small VJ day ceremony was held in Pontefract town centre, to commemorate 75 years since Japan ceased fighting in the Second World War.

Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 12:30 pm
A small VJ day ceremony was held in Pontefract town centre, to commemorate 75 years since Japan ceased fighting in the Second World War
A small VJ day ceremony was held in Pontefract town centre, to commemorate 75 years since Japan ceased fighting in the Second World War

The ceremony was staged by Pontefract Civic Society, who worked alongside the Ackworth and Pontefract Branch of the Royal British Legion to make the closed commemorations a success.

An intimate, socially distanced service took place at Pontefract War Memorial on Saturday August 15, following strict guidelines from the Royal British Legion HQ.

A maximum of 30 invited representatives attended.

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The ceremony was staged by Pontefract Civic Society, who worked alongside the Ackworth and Pontefract Branch of the Royal British Legion

Paul Cartwright, Chair, Pontefract Civic Society said: “After the disappointment of not commemorating VE Day, we breathed a sigh of relief that we could remember VJ Day and the end of the second World War.

“This was particularly poignant for the old soldiers of Pontefract, especially as the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry contingents, who saw active service in Far East conflicts were based at Pontefract Barracks.”

Following arrangements agreed prior to the day, attendees gathered at the War Memorial at 5pm, to avoid the busy market day rush.

A recorded pipe version of ‘Battle's O'er’ opened the ceremony, before Reverend Canon June Lawson, the Royal British Legion Chaplain and Vicar of All Saints and St Giles’, with St Mary’s Pontefract led the religious service.

“It was vitally important for Pontefract to commemorate the 75th Anniversary with a ceremony at The War memorial.”

Pontefract Heritage Group’s Town Crier, John Turner, recited the ‘Cry for Peace’, as many town criers across the country were doing on the day.

The exhortation was read by the Royal British Legion, and Last Post and Reveille was performed by a bugler, together with a recording of the National Anthem.

Brian Berry, Chairman, The Royal British Legion, Ackworth and Pontefract Branch said: “The Ackworth and Pontefract Branch TRBL, was delighted to be able to work with The Pontefract Civic Society and Pontefract Heritage Group to mark this important historic occasion.

“VJ Day represented the end of the Second World War, so it was vitally important for Pontefract to commemorate the 75th Anniversary with a ceremony at The War memorial.”

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