VJ-Day 75 right time to remember ‘forgotten’ 14th Army says Liberal Democrat Leader

The Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Oldham Council Member with responsibility for World War Two commemorations and the Deputy Chief Executive asking Oldham Council to host special events to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan day on 15 August.

Howard Sykes

Councillor Sykes said: “Earlier this year, as every year, there was rightly a focus on commemorating the victory in Europe over Nazi Germany in May 1945. However, in the Far East, young servicemen from Great Britain and the Commonwealth continued to fight for three more months against a ruthless enemy and in a hostile terrain. These were the men of the Fourteenth Army, engaged in heroic actions to liberate Burma from Japanese occupation. Unfortunately, their exploits are not so well known and even their own commander described them as a ‘forgotten army.’
The 75th anniversary of VJ-Day represents a long overdue opportunity to recognise the courage, tenacity and sacrifice of these men. And let us not forget to the terrible privations endured by our prisoners of war treated so horribly by many of their Japanese captors. For them, the war’s end and liberation could not come soon enough.”

Councillor Sykes has welcomed news that an exhibition of photographs and memories of local people from World War Two that will open in Tommyfield Market on 14 August, but he would like the Council to do more by hosting a service with the Mayor of Oldham and representatives from the Royal British Legion, Far East prisoner of war associations, and the Burma Star Association at the Oldham War Memorial. He also wants to ensure that Oldham’s Asian communities are represented: “Most of the fighting men of the Fourteenth were born in the Indian sub-continent and their descendants would now be citizens of India, Bangladesh or Pakistan.”

Councillor Sykes is also encouraging members of the public to print off and display posters to mark VJ-Day: “I hope that for August 15 we can see them in windows everywhere. Let us all show that in our borough, the men of the fighting Fourteenth Army are not forgotten.”

The posters can be accessed from the British Government’s website at:

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