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

13:10 15 August 2014

Pictures from the Burma veterans

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

The mini run 2015 in Bideford. Pictures: Graham Hobbs

The mini run was back in North Devon this weekend celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Mini Grand Tour.

Read more
11:28
Barnstaple McDonald's.

Restaurant to install digital order points and extra drive through lane

Read more
09:07
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

Theft of £18 aquarium pump from Barnstaple shop lands 26-year-old man owing the court nearly £300.

Read more
08:01
Woody Bay Station is giving half its takings to Children's Hospice South West this weekend.

Visit Woody Bay station on September 5 & 6 and help Children’s Hospice South West

Read more
Sunday, August 30, 2015
The Torrington Trumpton bonfire 2015.

Crowds were treated to a giant charity bonfire and spectacular fireworks display in Torrington last night (Saturday).

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Winkleigh Airfield aircraft watch tower

A two-storey World War Two watchtower and parts of a secret wartime airfield are being auctioned for £35,500-£50,000 on September 22, along with its nine acres of land and several outbuildings.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Bideford Hospital.

Health bosses announces plans for sessions in Hatherleigh, Lynton and Barnstaple

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015

Fire fighters rushed to flat in Marlborough Court, Bideford, where they found a woman trapped inside and smoke issuing from the building.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Digital Edition

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


North Devon's trusted business finder