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VJ Day 75 Service Of Remembrance

Peace treaty signing

On the 15th August 2020 it will be the 75th anniversary of VJ Day – Victory in Japan.

A special service of remembrance in partnership with The Royal British Legion will be held at the National Memorial Arboretum, and veterans and their families are invited to attend. Please visit the NMA website for more details.

From the NMA website:

In 2020, in partnership with The Royal British Legion, we will be asking the Nation to remember the impact that leaving, missing and returning home has on service men and women & their loved ones – then and now.

Whilst we may not be able to deliver our original programme of activity around this special date, we are working with the Royal British Legion, the Ministry of Defence and the BBC to produce a live broadcast from the Arboretum.

The best place to see the programme is from your home, however, a limited number of spaces to visit the Arboretum to watch proceedings on a large screen in the Naval Review will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 30 July.

Veterans and those with family connections, are encouraged to register with The Royal British Legion here. We ask, where possible, that priority is given to veterans and family when watching proceedings on the Naval Review also.

Please note the FEPOW Memorial Building and Far East Area of the Arboretum will be inaccessible to the public from 9am Friday 14 August to 3pm Saturday 15 August.

D Day 70 – HMS Wager

While HMS Wager and the 27th Destroyer Flotilla were not awarded the Battle Honour NORMANDY 1944 the destroyer, with many other units of the Home Fleet, were at sea in home waters. The Home Fleet was required to be available to intercept any enemy ship interference during the allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

Some 6,000 ships, from battleships to landing craft and fast patrol boats were involved on D Day, landing some 130,000 troops on the five beaches.

That maritime losses on that day, and in the ensuing weeks, were relatively light is, of course, in part owing to the outer screen provided tens and hundreds of miles away from the Normandy coast.

Let’s remember them today.

In July, HMS Wager sailed for the Far East to play a part in the war with Japan. She was at Gibraltar by early August.



Explosion on HMS Kempenfelt

HMS Kempenfelt was the leader of the 27th Destroyer Flotilla, of which HMS Wager was part.  This album of photographs belonged to a member of her ship’s company and most were taken, it is thought, in 1944-45.  Many certainly enhance the HMS Wager story, and some show sailors at work in a destroyer that was almost exactly the same in size and fittings and operated with the various ships in her flotilla.

The two extracts in the document below are taken from newspapers in Sydney about an accident that happened on HMS Kempenfelt in November 1945.

Explosion on HMS Kempenfelt

More images from HMS Kempenfelt