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VIC­TORY

- Victory · India · Japan · Singapore · The Royal British Legion · Royal Air Force · Asia · North America · United States of America · British Armed Forces · United Kingdom

Bruce McIn­tosh, 94, was be­ing trained as an of­fi­cer in In­dia when Ja­pan sur­ren­dered, and still re­mem­bers when he heard the news.

“We re­acted with to­tal dis­be­lief,” he says. “The Ja­panese were a for­mi­da­ble [im­pres­sive, fright­en­ing] en­emy. There were seven mil­lion of them be­tween us and Ja­pan, and I was due to fight against them. It was just to­tal eu­pho­ria [joy] that the war was ac­tu­ally over. In one mo­ment my life span went up from nine months to 60 or 70 years. I was sure

I would have been killed some­where like Sin­ga­pore. The thought of be­ing able to get back home and see fam­ily was just in­cred­i­ble. I re­mem­ber bow­ing my head and say­ing a silent prayer of thanks.”

Joseph Ham­mond was one of the many African men who helped to win the war. He joined the 14th Army aged just 18.

“On the 75th an­niver­sary of VJ Day

I will be re­mem­ber­ing all my com­rades who fought with me in the Far East,” he says. “Many of us were away from home for sev­eral years not know­ing what was hap­pen­ing else­where in the war and hear­ing lit­tle or noth­ing from our fam­i­lies. On VJ Day I will be think­ing of those who made it home and those who didn’t.”

The Royal Bri­tish Le­gion’s Bob Gam­ble OBE said: “As we mark the 75th an­niver­sary of VJ Day we are invit­ing the pub­lic to take this op­por­tu­nity to hon­our the con­tri­bu­tions of all who served and sac­ri­ficed in the Far East. We recog­nise the enor­mous brav­ery of the Tri-Ser­vice [Army, Navy and RAF] per­son­nel

Bruce (sec­ond from right) dur­ing the war who came from across Europe, Africa, Asia, North Amer­ica and Aus­trala­sia to form one of the most mul­ti­cul­tural forces in his­tory, many of whom faced some of the harsh­est con­di­tions of the Sec­ond World War. Those serv­ing with the Bri­tish Forces in the Far East came from di­verse back­grounds and cul­tures, and much of the UK’s mod­ern-day mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism can be traced back to this pe­riod of his­tory.”

To learn more, take a look at the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion’s 75th an­niver­sary pages at

It in­cludes an in­ter­ac­tive map that shows where in the world the mem­bers of the 14th Army came from.

www.rbl.org.uk/vj­day75.

 ??  ?? Ja­panese of­fi­cials pre­pare to sign the sur­ren­der doc­u­ments on board the USS Mis­souri
Ja­panese of­fi­cials pre­pare to sign the sur­ren­der doc­u­ments on board the USS Mis­souri
 ??  ?? Bruce to­day
Joseph Ham­mond
Bruce to­day Joseph Ham­mond
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