Scilly’s VJ Day Organisers Pleased With Commemoration

vj day 2015_1The organisers of Scilly’s VJ Day commemorations are pleased that around forty people and the Army Cadets attended the commemoration on Saturday in The Park.

During an address, Council Chairman Amanda Martin explained that Scillonian families had been caught up in the conflict in the east.

The oldest veteran in attendance was Stan Phillips. He served in the Second World War on the Arctic convoys in the North Atlantic, while his brother was in the Pacific.

Stan says this was a special day for those who served in the Far East, many of whom were “just kids” when they joined up.

And David Hawkins from the newly formed islands’ Royal British Legion branch told Radio Scilly that it was good to see a mix of local people and visitors paying their respects to the men and women, especially the prisoners of war, who gave so much in the war against the Japanese.

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Richard Larn with his reminder of Hiroshima

Richard Larn visited Hiroshima in 1950, a few years after the US dropped one of the two atomic bombs that hastened the Japanese surrender, while serving on HMS Glory.

He was accompanying a group of Navy photographers and got as near to the city as was possible then, because the Japanese were still concerned about the levels of radioactivity.

Richard says at the time, Hiroshima was completely lifeless and unlike anywhere else he’s ever visited.

And he still has a reminder of the trip – a rock-like ball of material he found that was fused by the heat of the blast.

In his speech, Smudge Smith reminded attendees of the importance of supporting military personnel who are affected by their service today.

He wants locals to support a Falmouth-based sail training charity, Turn to Starboard, that arranges working voyages to Scilly and which is visiting in September.