Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010 16:47 UK
Burma veterans mark 65th VJ Day
Robert Austin Graves
Robert Austin Graves, 90, was 22 when he served in Burma

Former servicemen who fought the Japanese in the jungles of Burma will mark the 65th anniversary of Victory In Japan on Sunday 15 August 2010.

The men from the Liverpool Burma Star Association will take part in a VJ Day ceremony in St John's Gardens.

Known as the "Forgotten Army", operations by soldiers serving in the Far East were often overshadowed by events happening in Europe.

The Japanese surrendered on 15 August 1945, marking the end of World War II.

The Burma Star Association was set up six years later to promote the comradeship experienced by those serving in the jungles of Burma and to offer support to survivors and their families.

The men were awarded the Burma Star medal for service in the campaign between 11, December 1941 and 2, September 1945.

Chairman of the Liverpool Burma Star Association and veteran Robert Austin Graves said, "The association in Liverpool formed back in 1951 with 55 members and we held meetings once a month. It was for social purposes, also to help one another."

"We still meet today, although sadly age and ill health has taken their toll and there are now only 9 surviving members."

The men had fought in close quarters in disease ridden jungle in Burma.

"More men went down with disease than with wounds. A lot of men died from lack of attention as it took a long time to get a man back to where he could be looked after," Robert added.

burma star association
The Liverpool Burma Star Association was set up in 1951

Many were imprisoned in horrendous conditions in Japanese prisoner of war camps and for them the war ended months after the conflict in Europe.

"It was different to Europe. If you got taken prisoner in Europe you got sort of looked after, on both sides.

"But with the Japanese, no. They were treated like animals.

"But comradeship was wonderful. You needed it, more than anywhere else."

This Sunday marks the 65th anniversary of VJ Day and the end of the Second World War.




SEE ALSO
Burma timeline
12 Jan 12 |  Country profiles

OTHER RELATED BBC LINKS

ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific