Northern Ireland

Last VJ Day parade held in Belfast

Burma Star Association wreath
Image caption The Burma Star Association wreath at the cenotaph at City Hall in Belfast

The last Burma Star Association Victory over Japan Day (VJ) parade in Belfast has taken place.

A total of 14 veterans marched in the parade, some needing the help of sons and daughters.

Several hundred people turned out at the City Hall to witness the ceremony.

The Burma Star Association was founded in 1951 and brings together veterans from all three services who fought in the jungles of Burma during World War II.

James Lennon, 90, from Bangor, served in Burma from 1942 to 1945, and attended Sunday's parade with his family.

"I am thankful to be here and I am thinking about all the comrades that were with us all through the years," he said.

"I see on the parade today, there were only 14 left.

"It is an emotional time."

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall led veterans in a service in London marking the 65th anniversary of VJ Day later on Sunday.

The prince laid a wreath at the Cenotaph to mark the loss of almost 30,000 UK lives in the Far East.

Prime Minister David Cameron, also laid a wreath and said Britain must never forget the sacrifices made by those who served in World War II.

Of the hundreds of thousands who fought, 12,500 died in prison camps.

A service was also held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where a memorial building for Far East prisoners of war opened in 2005.

The Fourteenth Army - dubbed the Forgotten Army - was the largest British Empire and Commonwealth Army ever assembled, numbering over half a million.

The Japanese surrendered on 14 August 1945 after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The next day was celebrated as VJ Day.

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