Celebrations for VE Day took place on 8 May 1945 but this was not the end of the war for those serving in the Far East. They would continue to fight in the harshest of environments against a determined, ruthless and efficient enemy until Japan surrendered on the 15 August 1945.

Victory over Japan was only achieved by the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (9 August 1945) and the deaths of over 100,000 people and many more to come due to the long-term effects of radiation.

The names of the places and battles today evoke memories of defeat and victory in the toughest of conditions, sometimes against overwhelming odds; Singapore, Burma, Imphal, Timor, Kohima are all such names and many of these battles are still not widely known. Those who fought in this theatre would often feel forgotten when they returned home, in 1946 the world had moved on.

The Far East was a unique theatre. Air Commodore Henry Probert described it as thus:

‘It occurred much further away from home than any other major campaign we have ever been involved in. Much of it took place over mountain and jungle terrain, in weather conditions that knew no parallel elsewhere and often beggared description, with few of the aids to navigation that were taken for granted in Europe, and at times over distances that were enormous by the standards of those days. It was made possible by a great team of men working on the ground in conditions of heat, rain, disease and natural hazards that few had ever experienced before…’