‘They suffered for the freedom we enjoy today’ Great Yarmouth remembers the 70th anniversary of VJ Day

A short ceremony was held at the FEPOW memorial on Marine Parade to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ

A short ceremony was held at the FEPOW memorial on Marine Parade to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Heads bowed along Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile today as residents, holidaymakers and dignitaries came together to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day.

A short ceremony was held at the FEPOW memorial on Marine Parade to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ

A short ceremony was held at the FEPOW memorial on Marine Parade to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The congregation formed a respectful circle around the town's Far East Prisoner of War (FEPOW) memorial on the seafront, where they stood in silence to remember the thousands of Allied servicemen captured by the Japanese during the Second World War - and to mark the end of the conflict on August 15, 1945.

The service was led by Rev Albert Cadmore, who said it was an 'honour and privilege' to do so.

Opening the service he said: 'We gather to give thanks for VJ Day and we remember that 70 years ago today peace with Japan was achieved at long last.

'So many men from this borough served and suffered in the far eastern conflict and it's very fitting that we meet here at this very special memorial.'

A short ceremony was held at the FEPOW memorial on Marine Parade to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ

A short ceremony was held at the FEPOW memorial on Marine Parade to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The congregation dipped their heads in prayer and standards were dipped before wreathes were laid at the foot of the memorial, including one on behalf of the people of the borough by Great Yarmouth Mayor Shirley Weymouth.

Irene Williams, from the town's branch of the Royal British Legion, told the congregation of the importance of FEPOW day, marked on August 15, before reading the exhortation.

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She said: 'Tens of thousands of Allied prisoners of war were captured by the Japanese; they suffered from hunger, disease, torture and despair and many thousands died for the freedom that we enjoy today.

'FEPOW day is a worldwide day of remembrance for the far east prisoners. Please join us this year and every year and please remember the price they paid.'

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