On Saturday 15th August, echoing events across the country, I attended a service to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ day at the Cenotaph in the Municipal Gardens in Aldershot, with representatives from the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, Rushmoor Borough Council, Aldershot Garrison, The Shots Foundation/Aldershot Town FC and the Royal British Legion, and the Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire. The Padre, Major Albert Jackson of 1st battalion, Irish Guards gave a moving reflection on John’s Gospel 15:9-14, focussing on those who lay down their lives for others and caused us to reflect deeply on those who suffered appalling as prisoners of war, but also as those who returned found they were largely ignored. I felt immensely honoured to lay a wreath. It was poignant for me as I thought of my Father who served with the King’s African Rifles and trained soldiers to serve in Japan in Somalia. For all those men, VJ day, not VE day meant the end of the war.
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