South Tyneside remembers 'huge historical moment' on 75th anniversary of VJ Day

South Tyneside paid its respects on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day on August 15.

Saturday, 15th August 2020, 3:25 pm

With social distancing restrictions in place, commemorations were lower key and with far fewer people in attendance than would have been otherwise.

However, the occasion was no less poignant or heartfelt, despite the very limited numbers.

At the Westoe war memorial, in South Shields, a wreath laying was attended by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick, and Mayoress Jean Williamson.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick, Mayoress Mrs Jean Williamson and Councillor Iain Malcolm unveiled a memorial bench at Westoe.

Also present was the leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Iain Malcolm.

The mayor unveiled a commemorative bench beside the war memorial, with the years of World War II, 1939 to 1945, written either side of an image of a sea battle from the conflict.

There was a very personal touch to the proceedings when three sisters laid their own wreath in honour of their father.

Ann Elstob, Patricia Coleman and Kathleen Rowe were there to honour the memory of their dad, Clive Olley.

South Tyneside Deputy Mayor, Gladys Hobson and Major Andy Loader 101 Regiment Royal Artillery, laid a wreath and unveiled a memorial bench at Carr Ellison war memorial in Hebburn to mark VJ Day.

They brought along a photograph of Mr Olley and Patricia proudly wore his medals.

Meanwhile there was a separate event at the Carr Ellison Park war memorial, in Hebburn, where an identical bench was unveiled there by South Tyneside’s Deputy Mayor, Gladys Hobson.

Councillor Hobson, alongside Major Andy Loader of the 101 Regiment Royal Artillery, laid a wreath to honour those who fought for their country.

Other wreaths were placed in other key commemorative locations across South Tyneside.

Sisters, left to right, Ann Elstob, Patricia Coleman and Kathleen Rowe, marked VJ Day by laying a wreath in memory of their father Clive Olley at Westoe war memorial.

Another memorial event was held on Tuesday, August 11 outside South Shields Town Hall, where Councillor Dick attended a drumhead service in which a bugler played The Last Post.

“This was a huge historical moment and the tens of thousands of service personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country deserve to be remembered and honoured, despite the challenges we currently face.”

A message from the editor:

The Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Norman Dick, Mayoress Mrs Jean Williamson and council leader Iain Malcom mark VJ Day by laying a wreath at Westoe war memorial, South Shields.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to the Shields Gazette website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Visit here to sign up. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.