Published: Thursday, 6th August 2020
Plans are underway to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of Victory over Japan Day, on Saturday 15 August 2020, safely at home in west Norfolk.
Stories of Lynn and the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, working with local organisations including King’s Lynn Festival, Norfolk Museums Service and King’s Lynn & District RAFA, have put together a range of activities that enable people to commemorate this historic occasion, within the constraints of the current social distancing guidelines.
Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Deputy Leader of the borough council and Cabinet Member for Culture Heritage and Health, said: “Our virtual VE Day proved popular back in May, nearly 3000 residents interacted with us through social media channels on the day and many more accessed our range of tools and activities through the Stories of Lynn website.
“I urge residents to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of VJ Day, the end of World War II, by logging on again. There’s lots for all ages to try.”
Next week, a keepsake booklet will be included in Your Local Paper and the Lynn News containing details about VJ Day and a space on the back for people to write their reflections and remembrance about VJ Day and recent events. Origami peace cranes and Burma Stars will also be included in a special supplement for those who do not have internet access or printers.
The web pages provide more about the history of the day, as well as recommended music from King’s Lynn Festival, downloadable games from the era for the family to play, and a special 1940s performance from Norfolk artist Sarah Mai.
Maj (Ret’d) Gary Walker MBE TD VR, Secretary of King's Lynn District RAFA, said: "As Secretary of the local Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, I was keen that we commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. As we, disappointingly, can’t hold public events due to social distancing rules, this is the next best thing.
“I hope people will tune in to the wreath laying and 2-minute silence that will be broadcast on the borough council YouTube channel on the day and encourage participation in our virtual VJ Day commemorations. The website gives you the chance to learn about the importance of this day and to discover and remember our heroes of yesteryear."
Rachael Williams, Learning and Engagement Officer at Stories of Lynn, added: “There’s a range of activities to try online. I’m looking forward to receiving lots of origami cranes including wishes for peace that can be displayed in our “swoop of cranes” inside Stories of Lynn. They will then be sent on to our colleagues at Ancient House Museum in Thetford to be part of their VJ Day installation of, hopefully, 1000 cranes. I also look forward to receiving Burma Stars for us to display as part of a wishes installation in Stories of Lynn”
The Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Cllr Geoff Hipperson, has included a video message on the website, he said: “VJ Day, the victory by the army that is sometimes known as The Forgotten Army. I trust that the members of that army will never be forgotten, particularly in East Anglia with the involvement of the Royal Norfolk Regiment.
“By the time these veterans were reunited with their families, celebrations marking the end of WWII had passed and communities were looking to rebuild their future.
“We must honour and respect the memory of The Forgotten Army and, in doing so, hopefully learn from the past.”
The VJ Day website is live at storiesoflynn.co.uk/vjday, further activity will be included on the borough council and Stories of Lynn social media channels. The VJ Day service, including 2 minute silence at 11am, will be broadcast live on the borough council YouTube channel on VJ Day.