Britain marks 70th anniversary of end of World War II

Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday led celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II here, which coincides with India's Independence Day.

London: Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday led celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II here, which coincides with India's Independence Day.

The Victory over Japan (VJ) Day coincides with India's 69th Independence anniversary, which will be celebrated in London tomorrow with a family-friendly event organised by the Indian High Commission.

For VJ Day celebrations today, the Queen and husband Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip joined Prime Minister David Cameron and former prisoners of war at a remembrance service at St Martin-in-the-Fields church at Trafalgar Square in London.

Dr Sam Wells, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, told the congregation as the service began, "The struggles, the suffering and the sacrifice of the war in the Far East are a defining experience in our nation's history.

"We stand in awe of those who were tried in ways beyond what most of us ever have to go through and greater than many of us can ever imagine. People who lost life, limb and liberty that we might know peace."

A service was to be held at Horse Guards Parade, followed by a flypast and march by veterans of the Far East.

Although fighting in Europe ended in May 1945, the battle between the Allies and Japan continued. It was only after two atomic bombs were dropped on the country that the Japanese surrendered on 15 August that year.

It ended as one of the worst episodes in British military history, during which tens of thousands of servicemen were forced to endure the brutalities of prisoner of war camps, where diseases were rife and there was a lack of food and water. 

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