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FLEET REMEMBERS

VJ DAY 75TH ANNIVERSARY

VJ DAY 75TH ANNIVERSARY

Saturday 15th September 2020, marked the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, Victory over Japan.

“VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945 – but hundreds of thousands of Allied personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East. Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and VJ Day marks the day Japan surrendered on 15th August 1945, and the end of the Second World War.”

The Fleet and Church Crookham branch of The Royal British Legion

The day was marked by services at the war memorials in Fleet and Church Crookham, with a two minute silence at 11am, followed by the laying of wreaths.

The service came after celebrations planned for the previous anniversary of VE Day in May of this year, had to be cancelled due to the covid outbreak, leaving Fleet residents to hold their own celebrations (see VE Day 75th Anniversary in Fleet).

Below: Royal British Legion – Fleet and Church Crookham Branch.

GURKHA SQUARE SERVICE, FLEET

“At Gurkha Square Fleet, the remembrance was led by Air Commodore Bill Tyack (Chairman of Fleet, Crookham and District branch of the Royal Legion) and wreaths were laid by Councillor John Kennet (Chairman of Hart District Council), Councillor Bob Schofield (Chairman of Fleet Town Council), Brigadier Dickie Haldenby (President of the Fleet, Crookham & District branch of The Royal British Legion) and Pat Bussy, on behalf of her relatives and Far East prisoners of war.”

The Fleet and Church Crookham branch of The Royal British Legion

Below: Fleet Lions mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

Below: VJ Day service held in Gurkha Square, Fleet. Photo: Steve Forster.

Below: Wreaths laid in Gurkha Square, Fleet. Photo: Ross Cannings.

GUEST OF HONOUR:

The guest of honour at the service was Mr. Fred Behagg, aged 99. Mr. Behagg is a resident of Fleet and served with the RAF as a wireless operator directing resupply airdrops in Burma during 1944 – 1946 and was awarded the Burma Star campaign medal.

Below: (Left to Right),  Tim Burt – Royal British Legion Fleet & Church Crookham branch, Mr. Fred Behagg, Councillor Steve Forster. Photo: Steve Forster.

Below: (Left),  Brigadier Dickie Haldenby President of the Fleet, Crookham & District Branch of The Royal British Legion. (Seated) – Mr Fred Behagg, (Right) – Air Commodore Bill Tyack, Chairman of the Fleet, Crookham & District Branch of  The Royal British Legion. Photo: Ross Cannings.

MARKET STALLS FAIL TO DISTANCE:

In Fleet, The regular Saturday market that is held in Gurkha Square also went ahead as normal, meaning the services and attendees had to squeeze in around a large fruit and veg stall. The market organiser had been contacted prior to the event with a request that space was made for the Remembrance Service but unfortunately this didn’t happen, leaving the market dominating the area in a situation that was, to say the least, less than ideal for such a solemn and important occasion.

Below: The services had to squeeze in beside the Saturday market fruit and veg stall.

Below: View from the war memorial showing the lack of space left by market organisers.

CHURCH CROOKHAM SERVICE

“At Church Crookham the wreath was laid by Brigadier Dickie Haldenby as President of the Fleet, Crookham & District branch of The British Royal Legion and Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Young RE.”

The Fleet and Church Crookham branch of The Royal British Legion

Below: Wreath laid by Brigadier Dickie Haldenby as President of the Fleet, Crookham & District Branch of The Royal British Legion and Lt Col Malcolm Young RE. Photo: Ross Cannings.

Below: Tributes laid at the War Memorial, Church Crookham. Photo: Ross Cannings.

VJ DAY 1945 IN FLEET

VJ Day wasn’t as widely celebrated as VE day, although it marked the official end of the war. Here we see what celebrations looked like back in 1945 as local families held a street party to commemorate the special event.

Below: 1945 VJ Day party in Kenilworth Road. Photo: Helen Jane Lewis.

1 Jean Slingo.

“The little girl in the front in a hat is my next door neighbour Jean Slingo. She moved to Kenilworth road when she was 3 then a house further down the same road when she got married!” – Helen Jane Lewis

Do you recognise anyone else in this photo, or do you have any photos or memories of the original VJ Day celebrations in Fleet?

PHOTO GALLERY

A gallery of photos from the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, 15th August 2020.

Click on photos and scroll through to view.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

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