Victory in Japan (VJ) Day is the second of the two days which signalled the end of the Second World War, with the first being Victory in Europe (VE) Day which happened over 3 months before in May.
Antecedents of the AGC were posted all around the world during the Second Eorld War, with many posted in East Asia. At the AGC Museum we are fortunate enough have the diary of WO1 Fabel who was in the RAEC. He was captured by the Japanese in Hong Kong following Hong Kong’s surrender on Christmas Day in 1941, and kept at Sham Shui Po camp until the later part of 1942. Following this he was transferred to a PoW camp in Japan, only 20km away from Hiroshima.
Fabel in fact recalls reconnaissance planes flying overhead at 0815 on the day of the bombing, although the PoWs were not told about this until almost a week after the bombing had happened. Following Japan’s surrender, the guards were withdrawn from the camp and the former PoWs were given a stipend of 50yen each, although there was not much on the island that they could buy. They stayed at the former camp for about a month, and did not return to England until the beginning of December, as they were first taken to Australia.
The below photograph is Fabel’s identity tag whilst at the PoW camp.