On Saturday, August 15, my wife and I, with my sister-in-law, made our way to Corn Square in Leominster where we had been informed that a commemoration service of the 75th anniversary of VJ Day was to be held.

Our visit was also in memory of my father-in-law who fought in the Far East campaign, was captured and spent three and a half years in various prisoner-of-war camps, and also on the notorious Burma railway.

He was one of the lucky ones who did return home, but suffered from bouts of malaria and other problems for the rest of his life.

What a pathetic shambles of a service we witnessed.

At approximately 10.45am the town mayor, deputy mayor and town crier, together with a couple of other council officials arrived (no church dignitaries or military personnel).

The only other people present were a small gathering of early morning shoppers and town visitors.

At 11 o’clock we stood for a two minutes’ silence, which was then followed by a speech from the mayor (no microphone) lasting less than a minute, where he thanked those present for turning up. That was the end of the service. No Kohima Exhortation.

On reflection, once again one can only say that in this instance the forgotten XIV Army had been forgotten by many, but still remembered by the few.

S Fereday