South Tyneside to mark 75th anniversary of VJ Day with small, socially distanced commemorations

Second World War personnel who fought in the Far East will be remembered in South Tyneside this week amid a stay away message to the public due to coronavirus fears.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 11:52 am
15th August 1945: The view which greeted the King from Buckingham Palace on VJ Day. As far as the eye can see jubilant crowds stretch from Queen Victoria's monument along the Mall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Two low-key services take place on Saturday August 15 to mark the 75th anniversary of victory over Japan, which brought the six-year global conflict to an end in 1945.

The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Norman Dick and Jean Williamson, and Coun Ed Malcolm, Chair of the Armed Forces Forum, will lay a wreath at South Shields Cenotaph at Westoe.

And Coun Gladys Hobson, the Deputy Mayor, will join an Army representative to lay a wreath at the Carr Ellison Cenotaph in Hebburn.

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Other wreaths are expected to be placed at sites across the borough, including one in Jarrow town centre.

But military veterans and well-wishers are being asked to stay away from the Victory over Japan Day commemorations due to Covid 19 safety concerns.

Coun Dick said: “It is extremely important that we take the time to reflect on the significance of this victorious day and the impact it has had on the history and future of our country.

“Although the commemorative event will not be as originally planned, due to the current guidance around public gatherings of people, we are pleased to mark the day and honour our heroes of the Second World War.”

South Tyneside Council has also invested in memorial benches and specially commissioned themed planters to commemorate the ending of the war.

The planters, newly located outside of South Shields Town Hall, will be filled with a red, white and blue display, and will be unveiled by Coun Dick and Coun Malcolm.

Memorial benches are also to be installed at South Shields Cenotaph and Carr Ellison Cenotaph where they will be unveiled on VJ Day as part of the commemorative services.

To replace a traditional signing of a remembrance book by the public, a commemorative video is being compiled by council chiefs.

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