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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 August 2005, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Parade marks WWII end anniversary
The march took place through Pontypridd town centre
A parade and celebration to mark the anniversary of the end of World War II have taken place in Pontypridd, south Wales.

The event, which ended at the town's Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, marked 60 years since the end of the conflict both in Europe and the Pacific.

It comes on the same day that Prince Charles led UK commemmorations by laying a wreath at London's Cenotaph.

Last Monday, events were held across the UK to mark Japan's defeat.

Tokyo surrendered to Allied forces on 15 August 1945 after the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs.

The day ended with a concert at Ynysangharad Park

The Pontypridd 'Big Thanks' celebration marked both VJ Day (Victory in Japan) and VE Day (Victory in Europe).

Cyril Vaughan, who was in the South Wales Borderers from 1938-46, recalled being made a prisoner of war in 1942.

"When we were taken prisoner, most of the Germans were our age and they could mostly speak English," he said.

"But unfortunately they handed us over to the Italians and we were in Libya for six months under very arduous conditions - water was limited and we lived on half a pint of salted rice a day."

'Savage conflict'

Sunday's event included a concert, displays, a funfair and an exhibition of military vehicles.

Singer Beverley Humphries, who performed in front of the crowds, said her father had served in Burma.

Cyril Vaughan
Cyril Vaughan was a prisoner of war in WWII

"It was a particularly savage conflict in the Far East and my father didn't come home until 1946," she said.

"My mother said that, for them, their war didn't end in May 1945 - it ended much later than that.

"They were the forgotten army, some of them didn't know victory in Europe had happened."

Last weekend, hundreds of veterans paraded at special services in Cardiff, Newport and Porthcawl.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said that it was "important to remember those who lost their lives, and pay tribute to the veterans who are still with us today and the families of those who sadly are not".

"Battles in the Far East were fought in particularly brutal and harsh circumstances," he said.

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