Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

August 14, 2005 11:30 ET

VAC: 60th Anniversary of Victory in the Far East

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 14, 2005) - Canada marked the 60th anniversary of Victory in the Far East and the end of the Second World War today with a series of events across the country. In total, more than 10,000 Canadians, serving on land, at sea and in the air, took part in the Far East campaign.

"Sixty years have gone by since the day that peace returned in the Far East and again, we share with these Veterans by honouring and by remembering," said the Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs. "Today and throughout the Year of the Veteran, we will continue to honour the deeds and memories of this unique group of Canadian Veterans."

Events in Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Quebec, and in communities across Canada, marked the anniversary. Introduction of the "Remember" poster, the fourth in the Year of the Veteran series, was one highlight of the events. The poster features the Sai Wan Bay Cemetery in Hong Kong and encourages Canadians to remember Veterans and their fallen comrades of the Far East campaign.

Canadian Forces were involved in the war in the Far East from its outset. 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. They would spend nearly four horrific years as prisoners. In total, 267 Canadians died as prisoners of war in Hong Kong and Japan. Many other Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) members were assigned to the Royal Air Force (RAF), and served with British forces in Malaya (now Malaysia), Singapore, Java (now Indonesia), Burma (now Myanmar) and India. Members of the Merchant Navy as well as the Royal Canadian Navy also had a presence in the Far East.

For photos, blogs and more information on the 60th anniversary of Victory in the Far East, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site (www.vac-acc.gc.ca) or call 1 800 443-0394.

2005 is the Year of the Veteran. Celebrate. Honour. Thank. Remember. Teach.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    (613) 992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Corey Hobbs
    Director of Communications
    (613) 947-4908