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Victory in Japan Day tribute for veteran Commando

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 13/08/2015

A special tribute will be paid to a 92-year-old sergeant major as the 70th anniversary of VJ Day is commemorated in Belfast.

Victory in Japan on August 15, 1945 meant the end of World War Two.

Bob Wright BEM will be honoured for his service in the Army Commandos in the commemoration tomorrow at the Northern Ireland War Memorial (NIWM) centre in Talbot Street, Belfast.

A two-minute silence will be held at noon and Mr Wright will lay flowers on a memorial sculpture by Carolyn Mulholland.

Mr Wright, from Co Antrim, only recently retired from his role as a senior gallery attendant after 27 years of service.

Born near Sandy Row in Belfast, the Carnmoney man enlisted in the Welch Regiment in 1938 at the age of 15 and volunteered for service in the Commandos three years later.

After serving with the Special Boat Service in Norway, he was posted to No.5 Commando in Burma and took part in daring raids behind the Japanese lines.

He was on operations in Malaya when the Japanese surrendered.

Ian Wilson, chair of the NIWM, said: "The date August 15, 1945, the surrender of Japan, following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was celebrated round the world as the end of World War Two - although the surrender document was not signed till September 2.

"This date is sometimes quoted as the official end of the Second World War."

He added: "At midnight on August 15, Prime Minister Clement Attlee (who had shortly before replaced wartime leader Winston Churchill after the 1945 general election) broadcast to the UK, and King George VI later addressed the country. Atlee declared 'the last of our enemies is laid low'".

Tomorrow's event is free to attend and runs from 11.30am-1.30pm.

Belfast Telegraph

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