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Jackie Markham

Reporter:

Jackie Markham

Newbury Burma Star Association members march through Newbury in 1979

This coming Sunday 8 November is Remembrance Sunday, so timed as it is the closest Sunday to Armistice Day, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, on which the First World War was brought to an end in 1918.

Remembrance Sunday is a day for the nation to honour the memory of those who fought and died in conflict. The Royal British Legion is the organisation which does much to safeguard this memory.

Men and women who died in both world wars and subsequent conflicts are the recipients of our respect and gratitude.

The Second World War ended on 8 May 1945, when the Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers.  Since then, 8 May has been an official day of celebration, known as Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).

However, tens of thousands of troops continued to be involved in fighting in other theatres of war in Burma and the Far East for several more months before the Japanese surrendered. Victory over Japan (VJ Day) is celebrated annually on 15 August.

Some of those troops came to be known as the “Forgotten Army” and struggled for the recognition so readily given to their comrades in Europe.

Veterans from the conflict in the Far East formed the “Burma Star Association”, the Newbury branch of which was formed in 1976, and held its meeting at the British Legion‘s Newbury premises in Pelican Lane.  

Our gallery of photographs, first published in the Newbury Weekly News of 16 August 1979, shows its members and supporters marching through the town on Sunday 12 August 1979, to mark VJ Day. In 1979 the Newbury Branch of the Burma Star Association had 62 members. The chairman of the branch was Mr Wilf Canning, a former mayor of Newbury.

 

The branch closed about ten years ago, due to dwindling numbers.

 

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