As General Lord Richard Dannatt urges people to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day today we look back at how people in Oxfordshire have been commemorating the anniversary for many years.

The anniversary provides an opportunity to commemorate the efforts of the “forgotten army” in bringing the Second World War to an end, the former head of the British Army has suggested.

General Lord Dannatt, who served as chief of the general staff from 2006 to 2009, said those fighting in the Far East endured a “brutal” war, but received little “limelight”.

Witney Gazette:

General Lord Richard Dannatt

Speaking ahead of the anniversary, General Lord Dannatt highlighted the work of the multi-national 14th Army fighting the Japanese, particularly during the Burma campaign.

Arthur Titherington was one of the county's most prominent prisoner of war camp survivors.

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A chairman of the Japanese Labour Camp Survivors Association, he spent three years as a prisoner of war.

When he was released as one of 90 who survived from a group of 522 he weighed little over five stones.

Witney Gazette:

Arthur Titherington

The former Witney town mayor campaigned to get an official apology from the Japanese government over the treatment of prisoners, and died in 2010 aged 88.

Seventy years after Japan surrendered in the Second World War, two Witney men remembered their brother who died in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

At a VJ Day service led by the Rev Down at the war memorial on Church Green in Witney, Alan and Gordon Clack laid a wreath for their fallen brother Arthur Clack.

Witney Gazette:

Alan and Gordon Clack

He died aged 23 in 1942 after being starved and mistreated.

Gunner Clack was part of the ill-fated 18th Infantry Division that was meant to be heading for the Middle East but instead was sent to a Singapore just as it was about to fall to the Japanese.

The unit was caught up in the bloody week-long Battle of Singapore, which resulted in Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival, commander of the Singapore garrison, surrendering to the Imperial Japanese Army Gunner Clack was soon captured and taken to a notoriously brutal prisoner-of-war camp called Fukuoka 17, where is it believed he was forced to work in a coal mine.

Younger brother Gordon, who was 10 years old at the time, said his mother Florence wrote to Arthur “religiously” but there was no response.

Witney Gazette:

It was only after VJ Day the family found out what they had dreaded the most, that he had died of malnutrition, dysentery and ill treatment at the hands of the Japanese, along with thousands of other American, British and Australian troops.

Alan, 80, said at the time: “I remember when news came through of my brother dying.

“My mother was sat at the dining room table just breaking her heart. I didn’t understand why they were doing any of it really.”

Trish Fergusson’s father Les Long was a PoW first in Singapore and then in Japan from February 1941 until liberation day, before returning to Oxford as a pub landlord.

Witney Gazette:

Ian and Trish Fergusson with Linda Peach

Her family has campaigned for VJ Day to get more attention alongside Linda Peach, whose father spent three-and-a-half years as POW on the island of Celebes.

Mrs Peach’s father Ivo Poulter was a postman in Florence Park in the 1930s and he covered Iffley village and parts of Rose Hill until his retirement in 1972.

Witney Gazette:

In 1939 Mr Poulter abandoned his postal career to join the Navy and help the war effort.

His ship the HMS Encounter was picked up by a Japanese destroyer in 1942.

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