Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

PICTURE GALLERY: North Devon’s Burma Veterans mark VJ Day

13:10 15 August 2014

Pictures from the Burma veterans' VJ Day service on Friday

Pictures from the Burma veterans' VJ Day service on Friday

Archant

Handful of surviving veterans hold remembrance service in Rock Park

Pictures from the Burma veterans' VJ Day service on FridayPictures from the Burma veterans' VJ Day service on Friday

VETERANS of the Burma campaign in the Second World War gathered to mark the 69th anniversary of VJ Day today (Friday).

The six remaining members of the North Devon Burma Star Foundation, now all in their 90s, were joined at the Rock Park war memorial in Barnstaple by family and honorary military members to lay a wreath and recall some of their experiences in the jungles of Burma.

And VJ Day, August 15, is a doubly special day for veteran Alf Turner, who this year was also celebrating his 95th birthday.

“It was quite a celebration in 1945,” he recalls. “I drove all the way to Poona (now Pune, in India) to get gallons and gallons of beer for the battalion.”

VJ Day brought six years of conflict to an end, some three months after the German surrender on VE Day.

However, thousands of British and Commonwealth troops were still fighting in the Far East, and came home several months later to a Britain which had largely forgotten about the war against Japan.

“I think some of the younger generation don’t realise what the war was like,” said Alf. “You here so much about the war in Europe but out there you were miles and miles from home in a jungle and nobody cheered you when you came into villages like they did in Europe.

“We were the forgotten army. I still remember on the train coming out of Burma to Malaysia listening to the wheels on the tracks and hearing a chap with his mouth organ and thinking ‘thank god we’re going away from this place’.

“We’ve got a very good branch here in North Devon but unfortunately we’re fading away year after year.”

Fellow veteran George Rice, 90, said: “It’s still nice to see our old friends and comrades who we’ve been seeing for 30-plus years.

“We’ve had good times and some sad times. The war is one of those things that happened and I was just pleased to get back.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Devon Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Devon Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Devon Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

13 minutes ago

National clothing retailer White Stuff is opening up a brand new shop in Barnstaple High Street.

Read more

Police appeal for help to try and locate missing Michael Ralph Irwin, who is thought to be with his two dogs.

Read more
13:35

Food lovers reminded to save the date for annual feast at Barnstaple pannier market

Read more
12:35

Carnival revellers beat the rain as a good night is enjoyed by all at South Molton

Read more

Peter Heaton-Jones has pledged to support our #BarnstapleBaby campaign and says he is fighting for North Devon’s services ‘at the highest level’.

Read more
10:52

South Molton Vintage Rally Club sets off from Pilton on Sunday (October 2)

Read more
Saturday, September 24, 2016

People around North Devon have come out in force to make their feelings known: we don’t want to lose our maternity services in North Devon.

Read more
Friday, September 23, 2016

The glass-fronted store in Clovelly Road will be open in time for Christmas and is set to be a ‘Lidl of the future’.

Read more
Friday, September 23, 2016

The Gazette has teamed up with hospital campaigners to stand up and fight for our maternity services in North Devon - will you join our #BarnstapleBaby campaign?

Read more
Friday, September 23, 2016

The mother of Bideford schoolgirl Scarlett Keeling said she will be seeking an appeal against the decision.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications