Veterans to be commemorated on 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific

Richmond RSL Sub-branch, like many Australians, will reflect on and commemorate the losses and sacrifices made by Australian veterans in World War Two this Saturday, August 15.

This Saturday marks 75 years since WWII came to a close for Australian veterans (August 15, 1945), now know as Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day.

Commemoration: Richmond RSL Sub-branch representative Mr Brian Dunstan will lay a wreath on Saturday, August 15 at the Richmond War Memorial. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Commemoration: Richmond RSL Sub-branch representative Mr Brian Dunstan will lay a wreath on Saturday, August 15 at the Richmond War Memorial. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Commemorative events will be held across the nation as everyone remembers the significance and importance that WWII had on Australia and it's people.

Richmond RSL Sub-branch's David Bowles said Australia's veterans and serving military personnel have selected this time for reflection and commemoration of the sacrifices made by the veterans who came before them.

"Nearly one million Australian men and women served the Commonwealth to defend, preserve and uphold our freedoms and ways of life," he said.

"Some 39,000 Australian service personnel had lost their lives in this conflict, while over 30,000 Australian servicemen were taken prisoner and many more suffered from their physical and mental wounds.

"A very significant contribution from a nation of only seven million people."

Mr Bowles said that on Saturday the Richmond RSL Sub-branch will continue to heed COVID-19 isolation protocols and will be represented by only Mr Brian Dunstan.

"He will lay a wreath at the Richmond War Memorial on behalf of all Sub-branch and the National Services Association members," said Mr Bowles.

"The Richmond RSL Sub-branch invites local community members to, similarly, pay their respects at this time, by laying their own floral tributes on the war memorial and/or reflecting on our nation's sacrifices."

Mr Bowles said that during WWII Australia had faced the very the real threat of Japanese invasion from March 1942 when Australia came under direct attack.

"Australia's Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Divisions were serving in the Mediterranean and North Africa campaigns, and its Eighth Division had been captured in Singapore," he said.

"Australia experienced direct losses in-country when Darwin experienced repeated air attacks, and Sydney came under attack from miniature submarines.

"Australia came to welcome the subsequent successes of Australians on the Kokoda Trail, Milne Bay and Buna, and of our allies in the Coral Sea and Midway - victories that helped pave the way to the Victory in the Pacific."

Mr Bowles pointed out that despite Japan having agreed to the Allies' demands on August 14, 1945, it was the following day that "was officially gazetted as Victory in the Pacific Day".

"Coincidentally, the official Instrument of surrender was subsequently signed by all parties, including Australia's General Sir Thomas Blamey, on the USS Missouri, on September 2, 1945," he said.

For further information about Saturday's wreath laying and VP Day contact Richmond RSL Sub-branch's Secretary Gillian Fletcher on 0438782419, or Publicity Officer Lynette Bowles on 4578-2804.

Comments