Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

August 15, 2011 07:00 ET

Canada Remembers the 66th Anniversary of the Victory in the Far East

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2011) - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement in recognition of the 66th anniversary of the Victory in the Far East:

"Today we mark the 66th anniversary of the Victory in the Far East (VJ-Day) and the end of the Second World War. Our Canadian troops' efforts to defend Hong Kong under difficult circumstances showed extraordinary courage and determination. It is fitting we commemorate the heroic sacrifices of our Veterans.

In total, more than 10,000 Canadians serving on land, in the air and at sea took part in the Far East campaign. Many Royal Canadian Air Force members were assigned to the Royal Air Force and served with the British Forces in Malaya (now Malaysia), Singapore, Java (now Indonesia), Burma, India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Members of the Merchant Navy as well as the Royal Canadian Navy were also present in the Far East.

Of the 1,975 Canadians who served with a small British garrison in Hong Kong, 290 would die in the hard-fought, 17-day battle. The Allies surrendered on Christmas Day, 1941 and the remaining Canadian troops, including two nursing sisters, were taken prisoners of war. The troops would spend almost four horrific years as prisoners. In total, 267 Canadians died as prisoners of war in Hong Kong and Japan.

Canada remembers its heroes—we pay tribute to their legacy and honour those who continue to serve. We enjoy our freedom today thanks to these brave Canadians. It is our duty to remember them.

Our government is committed to our Veterans. We encourage all Canadians to honour and respect the tremendous sacrifices of our men and women who have served and who continue to serve. Lest we forget."

For more information on VJ-Day and on Canada's contributions during the Second World War, visit veterans.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    613-992-7468

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    613-996-4649