Victory in Japan

The end of World War II

On Tuesday 14 August 1945 the Japanese Government surrendered which effectively ended World War II. A two-day holiday for the country was announced with Wednesday 15 August celebrated as Victory Over Japan (VJ) Day.

2015 marked the 70th anniversary of Victory in Japan (VJ Day) and was commemorated in Bournemouth. A service will took place at Bournemouth War Memorial in the Central Gardens at 2:30pm on Saturday 15 August and Bournemouth’s Poet Laureate wrote a poem for the event. 

Local Historian, John Walker, explains what happened here in Bournemouth on VJ Day 70 years ago.

Locally in Bournemouth that day bands played in the Lower Gardens and on the Undercliff Drive.  At 9pm a crowd of about 15,000 gathered in Westover Road to listen to a broadcast by King George VI, followed by community singing around the Pavilion Fountain.  Members of an American band, the US Air Transport Command Contact Caravan, who were staying at the Carlton Hotel, were later roused from their beds to lead a cheering crowd to the Square, where they played from the top of the bus shelter with several thousand people dancing below.  The celebrations continued over the next two days, with the Lower Gardens floodlit and illuminations in the Square.  Neighbourhoods held local celebrations of a similar type to those held on VE Day.