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Britain commemorates VJ Day with ceremony, reception

By the CNN Wire Staff
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England celebrates VJ Day
  • Ceremony on Sunday remembers the day Japan surrendered in 1945, ending WWII
  • PM David Cameron will lay a wreath on behalf of the government
  • Nearly 30,000 British troops died in the Far East campaign

London, England (CNN) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will join hundreds of veterans Sunday to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day, or VJ Day, which was Saturday.

"The service will remember the efforts of hundreds of thousands of veterans operating in the harshest of conditions, and pay tribute to nearly 30,000 British losses suffered during the Far East campaign, (including) some 12,500 who died while prisoners of war," Britain's Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

Cameron will lay a wreath on behalf of the British government, the statement said.

On August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered to Allied forces, effectively ending World War II.

"We must never forget the sacrifices made and the dedication showed by those who served our country in the Second World War," Cameron said.

"They fought and suffered around the world in ferocious conditions. They witnessed incomprehensible horrors. They lost their lives -- and many were imprisoned. And they did all this for us -- to protect the freedoms we all enjoy today. VJ Day, the day the Second World War ended, is a time for this generation to reflect and show its gratitude to our veterans for their bravery, dedication and sacrifice."

Chief of the General Staff, Gen. Sir David Richards, will lay a wreath on behalf of the British Army, the Ministry of Defence said.

The ministry, along with the Burma Star Association, organized the service.

The association, founded in 1951, "brings together veterans from all three services who experienced the bitter fighting in the jungles of Burma," which is modern-day Myanmar, the ministry said.