Carnage of the Far East war remembered on VJ Day

editorial image

The “unimaginable horrors” perpetrated by the Japanese military on Allied prisoners and countless Asian civilians were remembered in Motherwell this week.

War veterans and members of the public gathered at Motherwell Civic Centre to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the end of the Second World War in the Far East,

Provost of North Lanarkshire Jean Jones and South Lanarkshire Provost Ian McAllan joined veterans’ groups, MP’s and MSP’s in laying wreaths at the War Memorial to pay tribute to those who died in the struggle.

Provost Jones said: “The war in the Far East was fought on an enormous scale, and although many thousands of miles from the conflict here in Europe, massive loss of life and wholesale devastation were the same.

“Many allied troops were consigned to the unimaginable horrors of Far East prisoner of war camps.

“130,000 British and Allied forces were captured and many didn’t see their families for four years.

“For many, liberation came too late. Almost a quarter of all Allied prisoners in Japanese hands died during captivity.

“We are all grateful to them all and we must make sure their sacrifice is never forgotten.”

Rev. Gavin Black from the Presbytery of Hamilton and Father Bill Bergin from St Teresa’s in Newarthill addressed the ceremony, which included an introduction from Campbell Thomson of the Lanarkshire Yeomanry Group and Royal British Legion Scotland.