'Forgotten Army' is remembered in Preston

They were called the “Forgotten Army.”

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 4:55 am

But veterans in Preston were determined they wouldn’t be overlooked on the 76th anniversary of VJ Day.

With no public parade for the second year running due to Covid, members of the armed forces community in the city held a small service to honour the sacrifice made by troops in the Far East during the Second World War.

The victory over Japan in August 1945 came more than three months after the war in Europe had ended, leaving Allied forces feeling they had been forgotten as folk back home celebrated.

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WW2 veteran Stuart Taylor, 96, lays a wreath at the war memorial in Preston Cemetery.

Last year, on the 75th anniversary, Preston had to abandon its plans for a city centre commemoration, just as it had for VE Day in May.

Army Padre Kevin Savage led the service of remembrance at the war memorial in the city’s cemetery.

And a wreath was laid to honour the dead by 96-year-old Dakota pilot Stuart Taylor who saw service in the Far East during the Second World War.

Retired Colonel David Waters (inset), who is president of the Preston and District Veterans’ Council, told those assembled: “Why should we remember, commemorate and celebrate it?

Colonel David Waters is president of the Preston and District Veterans' Council.

“There is no glory in war and if we do not know and learn from history, good and bad, we are doomed to repeat it.”

One of the armed forces standards on view was that of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment which also saw service in the Far East during WW2.

The service included the Last Post, a one-minute silence and Reveille, followed by a lament by a lone piper.