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International Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VJ Day

Published on Monday, 10th August 2020

VJ Day 75 logo

Pipers, Buglers, Trumpeters, Cornet Players, Town Criers and Churches take part in the important commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VJ Day taking place on 15th August 2020.

Organised by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR and his dedicated team, the celebrations will include pipers around the world, town criers and churches to ensure this anniversary is commemorated. The veterans past and present of VJ Days along with their families will never be forgotten, even in the difficult times the world is currently going through due to the virus affecting us all.

In Nuneaton, the Town Crier will perform the ‘Cry for Peace’ at 11.05am on the Town Hall steps.

 The Armed Forces Champion for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Councillor Barry Longden said:

“It is an honour to pay tribute to all those that gave so much to enable us to enjoy the freedom we have today, even times of such great difficulty I am glad to see that communities are still taking time to commemorate this anniversary and remember those who gave their lives.”

The Town Crier added:

"Having been Town Crier to our Borough for over 32 years, I am proud to be associated with this recognition of the many who acted so heroically to enable us to enjoy our freedom today.  Their sacrifice must never be forgotten."

 The timetable of events is as follows:

 SATURDAY 15TH AUGUST 2020

06:00: Battle's O'er – Worldwide – As the day dawns around the world, hundreds of Pipers will play Battle's O'er, from safe locations of their choice. This traditional march played at the end of a battle will officially start this day of commemoration. The first pipes will sound in New Zealand and will end 22 hours later across the Pacific on the Island of O’ahu, Hawaii. The pipes will ring out on the hour as the clock strikes 6am local time from Nepal to Brazil and Scotland to South Africa. Aligning with national events in Australia, pipers there are being asked to pipe at memorials at 09:30.

10:58: The Last Post & Two-minute Silence - United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man - Hundreds of Buglers, Trumpeters and Cornet players will play the Last Post from safe locations of their choice.  This includes individual buglers from all over the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man that morning, undertaking it within local communities representing their bands and other organisations etc and will coincide with the two-minute silence at 11:00am, the wreath laying at the National Memorial Arboretum Staffordshire and Reveille.

11:10: 'Cry for Peace' Around the World – 75 Town Criers, one for each of the 75 years since VJ Day will undertake the attached 'Cry for Peace' from safe locations of their choice in memory of the millions of those at home and abroad that lost and gave so much to enable us to share and enjoy the freedom we have today.

Many Churches throughout the UK are also taking part in the 'Cry for Peace Around the World'.  This will be followed by the Church ringing their bells 75 times, one for each year since VJ Day - 15th August 1945, as part of 'Ringing out for Peace Around the World.'

20:18: Sunset – United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man – Those taking part in the Last Post and Reveille in the morning will play Sunset at the same location as the sun sets that evening, forming the finale to this important day of commemoration.

The above events for VJ Day 75 have been devised and planned by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, who has organised major historic celebrations and international events for nearly 40 years.

He said: “It’s wonderful to see VJ Day 75 being embraced by so many organisations both in this country and around the world. While we must remember and commemorate those who gave their lives or were gravely wounded during years of war, I believe VJ Day 75 is also an opportunity to celebrate the peace that came to us all at the end of this campaign and of WW II.

VJ Veterans and families have always felt they were the 'forgotten army' so I felt it important we let them know, and show them, that they are not and never will be forgotten,” said Peek.

In the UK, as an example of some of the events taking place, we are delighted to confirm that a piper from The 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment will be playing at Hillsborough Castle; 0600hrs on 15 August, and two pipers will also be marking the 75th anniversary by playing at the highest war memorial in England, the summit of Scafell Pike.  Pipers Robert R. Procter - lead piper of VJ Day 75 and Corporal Robert Cunningham, Royal Marines, with the generous support from Lakeland Mountain Guides, are heading up Scafell Pike through the night to arrive at the top just before the sunrises when the time the pipes will sound across the UK.

The pipers commented:

“To make sure we are there on time we will be setting off at 0200. A three-hour hike up the mountain by torchlight with our pipes on our backs will be part of the experience and to watch the sun rise from the highest mountain in England 75 years on from VJ Day 1945. With pipers making the effort to play in amazing places ranging from the Canadian Great Plains or Fiordland National Park, New Zealand to and military cemeteries in Belgium to local memorials in Fife, it is our way to thank those who paid the supreme sacrifice and those who returned to help forge post-war peace.”

A lone Piper will be undertaking the playing of Battle's O'er from the top of Nelson's Monument, paying tribute to those that gave so much during WW II, erected in 1817 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, to celebrate the life of England's greatest maritime hero – Vice Admiral Lord Nelson.  This 144-foot (44 metres) monument was put up years in advance of Nelson's Column, London, erected in 1843, with Piper Tom Foster undertaking similar on the Band Stand in Pier Gardens Gorleston, followed by Bugler Carl J Harrison playing the Last Post and Reveille from the top of St Andrew’s Church tower, Gorleston-on-Sea at 11am as part of the two minute silence that morning.

Piper Frank Dirksmeier will be playing this moving tribute at Munster Heath Cemetery, Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany, which contains 589 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. Munster Heath was on the line of the Allied advance across northern Germany in 1945.