Veterans of the second world war marked 70 years since victory in Japan at the Worthing war memorial today (August 15).
A short service took place in Chapel Road at 2pm, with many ex-soldiers, sailors and pilots on hand.
“I joined the navy before the war,” said Bob Adams, 92. “I was serving in Hong Kong when it started. I finished the war on another aircraft carrier. We had to take the surrender of the Japanese in Hong Kong.”
VJ day marked the end of the incarceration of tens of thousands of servicemen who were prisoners of war. Thousands of British and Commonwealth people lost their lives in the conflict with Japan. More than 2.5m Japanese people are also believed to have died during the war.
When he left the navy after 25 years, Mr Adams had the rank of chief petty officer.
“We were all hoping to have a night ashore,” he said remembering what he was doing 70 years ago.
“Instead we were told to race up to Hong Kong and take over from the Japanese.”
The memories of the conflict still remain with him.
“I can remember a lot of bad days in the Pacific when we got attacked by kamikazes,” he said.
He moved to Worthing in 2001 and is president of the town’s branch of the Royal Naval Association.
Mr Adams was pleased with how Worthing had marked the important day in British military history.
“It’s very appropriate and there was a good speech by the vicar who touched on some very relevant points,” he said. “It’s a day worth remembering.”
Meanwhile Colonel John Court was also present. The 98-year-old Worthing resident is reported to be the last man out of Singapore before the Japanese got there and spent ten days floating in the sea after making his escape.
“I was pleased to see so many people,” he said. “I joined the army on May 4, 1932 and I retired on January 7, 1972.”
He said it was lovely to be at the memorial to mark VJ day.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said. He was joined by his wife Jean and family who had travelled from Oxford and Dorset.
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