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For many, the end of the Second World War was marked by VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) on 8 May 1945 – but the official end of the war did not happen until three months later on 15 August.

Tens of thousands of Allied troops were still fighting the Japanese in the Far East as Germany surrendered in Europe.

Japan refused to adhere to an ultimatum to surrender on 28 July 1945, resulting in the US dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima on 6 August and Nagasaki on 9 August.

Image: The US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on 6 August 1945

The Soviets also invaded the Japanese puppet state of Manchuria, northern China, in between the two atomic bombs.

Finally, on 15 August the Japanese surrendered, although Japan's General Koiso Kuniako did not officially surrender with a signed document until 2 September.

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The day was declared by the Allies as Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day).

A two-day holiday was announced by British prime minister Clement Attlee after he confirmed at midnight on 14 August that the war in the Asia-Pacific was over.

He told the nation via TV broadcast: "Japan has today surrendered. The last of our enemy is laid low. Peace has once again come to the world."

Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI and Princess Margaret waved from the Buckingham Palace balcony as crowds gathered to celebrate
Image: Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI and Princess Margaret waved from the Buckingham Palace balcony as crowds gathered to celebrate
Crowds gathered in London to see King George as he opened Parliament on 15 August 1945
Image: Crowds gathered in London to see King George on VJ Day

Crowds promptly gathered in the streets, bonfires were lit, fireworks were set off and people sang and danced.

Services were held over the two-day holiday in churches across the country and in the open air to remember those who had fallen and to give thanks that the war had ended.

Huge crowds gathered on 15 August to cheer King George VI and the Queen as they made their way from Buckingham Palace to Westminster for the state opening of parliament, which happened to be that day.

In the US, President Harry Truman spoke to the cheering crowds outside the White House and also announced a two-day holiday, but said VJ Day had to wait until Japan had formally signed the surrender terms – so it is celebrated on 2 September in the US.

An American soldier and a British girl in London celebrated the end of the war with a kiss in Piccadilly Circus
Image: An American soldier and a British girl in London celebrated the end of the war with a kiss in Piccadilly Circus
Americans in Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrated on VJ Day
Image: Americans in Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrated on VJ Day

The 14th Army – also known as the Forgotten Army – was the name of the forces fighting in the region, with fewer than 15% of troops from Britain and the rest from Australia, Canada, India, Netherlands and New Zealand.

Winston Churchill had promised to support the US if it went to war with Japan, and shortly after Pearl Harbour was bombed in December 1941, troops were sent over to the Pacific.

But the price they paid was high, with tens of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers having been in prisoner of war camps since 1941 when the then-British colony of Hong Kong was captured.

British troops in Hong Kong were shipped out in December 1941 to prison camps by the Japanese
Image: British troops in Hong Kong were shipped out in December 1941 toRead More – Source