Ipswich marks end of war in the Pacific
IPSWICH will mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific with a special ceremony at the RSL Memorial Gardens on Saturday.
VP Day celebrates the role Australians played in seeing an end to war in the Pacific region in 1945.
Nearly 1 million Australians served in the armed forces during World War II, across theatres including Singapore, Borneo, Malaya, and Papua New Guinea.
About 40,000 Australians lost their lives in the war, including more than 17,000 killed while fighting against Japanese forces.
Of those, 8000 died in Japanese captivity.
Closer to home, threat of invasion was very real.
Elevated positions across the city were used to keep a look out for an attack.
The tower at Ipswich Grammar School was used, as was the rooftop skylight at Ipswich Girls Grammar.
Air raid shelters were built in the streets and slit trenches were dug at schools, businesses and homes.
At RAAF Base Amberley, the Japanese surrender was announced at 10.30am on August 15, 1945 by the Base Commander and all units were stood down for two days to celebrate.
The City of Ipswich staged a victory march the following year on June 10.
Federal Member for Blair and Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Defence Personnel Shayne Neumann said Saturday was an opportunity for everyone in Blair to recognise and share the stories of Second World War veterans.
Mr Neumann will lay wreath at the Memorial Gardens on Saturday.
"Around 12,000 veterans are still with us today, each of whom have a unique story to tell," he said.
"Our Second World War veterans left a powerful legacy and it is our responsibility to ensure their stories live on for generations to come and we say, 'thank you for your service'.
"A national commemorative service at the Australian War Memorial will also be broadcast by the ABC on television and online on Saturday, 15 August from 10:00am."
Mr Neumann said a special commemorative medallion and certificate is now available to every living Second World War veteran in Blair to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.
"Veterans or their families on their behalf can apply online at www.dva.gov.au/medallion or phone 1800 838 372 or (02) 6191 8217 during business hours.
Mr Neumann's office can also apply on behalf of veterans, phone 3201 5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Teresa Harding will speak at Saturday's ceremony, which will be held from 10am.
Unfortunately, restrictions on attendance due to COVID-19 mean the event is already at capacity.