A Special VJ Day for Comp. Roy Miller

The Prince of Wales led a two-minute silence at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, as part of a service of remembrance.

A Special VJ Day for Comp. Roy Miller A Special VJ Day for Comp. Roy Miller The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK's year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. It is a living and lasting memorial.

Veterans of the Burma campaign, their families, and other guests sat on chairs spaced out on the grass between the trees. Present was Roy Miller, a Burma Star veteran. At 96 year of age Roy, who is a member of Pride of Surrey Council No. 168, is our oldest subscribing member.

The proceedings focussed on the multinational and multicultural make up of the Allied forces that fought the Japanese. Gurkhas, alongside Sikhs, sat next to troops from Welsh and Scottish regiments, representing the 40 nations involved in the war in the Far East.

After sitar music, readings from British Asian actors, and speeches from descendants of those who fought, the roar of aircraft engines could be heard overhead. A Lancaster, Hurricane and three Spitfires from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew over in formation and in tribute.

A Special VJ Day for Comp. Roy Miller Those who could stand were invited to do so for a two minute silence. The Prince of Wales then laid a wreath at the Burma Railway Memorial.

More than 71,000 British and Commonwealth troops died in the Far East campaign, including 13,000 who lost their lives in Japanese prisoner of war camps, where conditions were brutal.

In his speech, the Prince of Wales said many of the "soldiers, nurses and other personnel felt anger and disappointment at how they were treated when they finally returned home from a war which, from the public's point of view, had ended on the 8th May 1945 (VE Day)".

He added: "Let us affirm, they and serving veterans are not forgotten, rather you are respected, thanked and cherished with all our hearts and for all time".

Veteran Roy Miller, 96, joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15 and served in the gunnery division onboard the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable in the Far East.

Prior to VJ Day on being interviewed at home by Sky News, Roy said: "People often ask if I celebrated when it all ended, but it wasn't joy at all. It was relief. It was an end. It was a feeling of relief that the whole thing was coming to an end and we weren't going to be shot at any more".

Article by Chris Eley

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