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  1. ITV Report

Veterans turn out to mark VJ Day 70th anniversary

Second world war veterans have turned out to take part in events marking the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, the day Japan surrendered and the war ended.

RAF veteran John Watkins, 89, from Boston, Lincolnshire, who fought with 233 Squadron. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A ceremony was held at Horse Guards Parade in London which was attended by not only veterans, but by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and the Prime Minister.

RAF veteran John Watkins, 89, holds an order of service. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A large number of veterans arrived in wheelchairs, proudly wearing their medals, with many of the survivors of the conflict now in their 90's.

RAF veteran Ron Meades, 94, from Weymouth with carer Chris Callaghan. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images
A veteran gives the thumbs-up as he takes part in a parade after a service of commemoration. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Ted Cogdell, 97, from south Wales, who fought with the 55th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Among the veterans attending the celebrations was Douglas Blackwell, 95, who fought against the Japanese in what was then Burma.

He spoke about his experiences to ITV News:

Veterans watched a fly-past of military aircraft including a Hurricane and a current RAF Typhoon fighter jet over Horse Guards.

Hurricane followed by a Typhoon over Horse Guards. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Actor Charles Dance read the poem The Road to Mandalay, by Rudyard Kipling to the listening crowd.

A veteran wipes away a tear, at the ceremony at Horse Guards Parade. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A service was also held at St Martin-in-the-Fields commemorating those who died in the conflict.

Veteran John Dean at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Credit: Catherine Wylie/PA Wire/Press Association Images
People attend a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The congregation listened in silence to a recitation of the Kohima Epitaph by John Giddings, 92, "when you go home tell them of us, and say for your tomorrow we gave our today".

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