Veteran and poet commemorate VJ Day with special poem recital

Les Wills and Jamie Thrasivoulou read out a special poem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. Credit: ITV News Central

A VJ veteran and a poet from the Midlands have read out a poem written specially for the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

The poem was written by Jamie Thrasivoulou from Derby to commemorate the anniversary of the date many see as the true end of the Second World War, when Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces.

To mark the significant anniversary, ITV News Central brought Jamie together with 93-year-old Navy veteran, Les Wills, from Sutton Coldfield, who joined up at the age of 16.

They've performed a special recital as a tribute to the 71,000 British soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives fighting in the Far East - until the guns fell silent on August 15th 1945.

The Royal British Legion is also continuing to encourage people to pay tribute and tell stories via their website:

Jamie Thrasivoulou's poem in full:

VJ Day Tribute

An anniversary that we should all show gratitude forSignifier of peace after the bloodiest of wars

We doff our caps to those who sacrificed their lives, and shake hands of the veteransthat survived

Seventy-five years since their lives were handed back Humble in their acceptance of their turmoilAs prisoners of a war- that stole timeThey’ll never get backWith families, loved ones, and friends Where surrender forced their strife to end, or did it just begin?

Those forgotten, we now remember Who gave their lives to the causeWe need to take much longer than just two minutes to pause,and consider their sacrifices- the traumas and brutalities of war- fought for ourfreedoms, 

We have them all to thank- soldiers, nurses, engineers and all of those in service Their war did not end in Europe like many may thinkInstead it spanned the globeWhere darkness encompassed every aspect of lifeUntil those white flags were raised at full mass

The hardship endured, the silent mouths, secrets kept, and not betrayedWe have them all to thank for our modern lives not being this way

If history can teach us lessonsThen we should all take notes on the dangers of hate speechTo seek unity between each and every nationTo ensure that future lives are not stolen or spent in isolationBecause as humans we are surely seeking peaceWe need to remember what these brave souls fought forFor us all to live a life of normality,Normality freed from the harshness of war