Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Saturday, 18 April 2009 17:17 UK

Japanese surrender officer dies

Surrender document signing
Lord Louis Mountbatten formally accepted the unconditional surrender

The army officer who is credited with organising the Japanese surrender after World War II has died at his home in Somerset, it has emerged.

Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Collingwood Sherman, who was 93, orchestrated the ceremony of Japanese capitulation in Singapore on 12 September, 1945.

Last week, at a church service in Long Sutton, the same Union Flag used in the ceremony was flown on the tower.

The father-of-three died following a short illness.

'Samurai swords'

Lt Col Sherman's son Nicholas, a managing director from Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, said the Union Flag had been with his father since the historic occasion.

Also in church was Nicholas' 87-year-old godmother, who last saw the flag over 64 years ago when she was in Singapore, serving as secretary to Lt-Gen Boy Browning, the husband of Daphne Du Maurier and Mountbatten's chief of staff.

Lord Louis Mountbatten formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese Imperial Army after officers handed over their samurai swords to their opposite numbers.

Japanese envoys boarded the American battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay to sign the document.

During the surrender ceremony he received a double-handed samurai sword with notches marking the occasions it had been used to defend the family's honour.

Lt Col Sherman had been married to Evelyn, 91, for almost 70 years, and leaves three children Anthony 68, Nicholas, 61, and Annabelle 67.

After the war he worked for a West African trading company, and served as a superintendent in the Nigerian Special Constabulary. He later joined British Aerospace during production of the Tornado Multi Role Aircraft.

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