Wednesday 15 August 2018

Japan publicly announced its surrender on 15 August 1945. This day has since been commemorated as Victory over Japan - or ‘VJ’ - Day.

On 2 September, a formal surrender ceremony took place on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, officially bringing the Second World War to an end.

Millions of people across the world celebrated Allied victory over Japan in August and September 1945. These 11 photographs offer a glimpse into how people in Britain - and servicemen stationed abroad - marked the war’s end.

Photographs

1. News breaks

Photographs

1. News breaks

Japan had put forth an offer of surrender on 10 August, but it took several days for the exact terms of the surrender to be agreed. When news of this initial offer broke, London took to the streets to celebrate. In this photograph, American Sergeant Franklin G Talley, assisted by an airman of the Royal Air Force (RAF), holds up a copy of the Evening News while seated on traffic lights in London’s Oxford Circus on 10 August 1945.

Sergeant Franklin G Talley assisted by an RAF airman, holds up a copy of the Evening News while seated on traffic lights in Oxford Circus, London. The headline reads "Japan Surrenders".
American Sergeant Franklin G Talley, assisted by an RAF airman, holds up a copy of the Evening News on 10 August 1945.
Photographs

2. Flying the 'Stars and Stripes'

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2. Flying the 'Stars and Stripes'

American soldiers and British civilians parade the United States’ flag - the ‘Stars and Stripes’ - in London’s Piccadilly Circus after hearing news of the Japanese offer of surrender, 10 August 1945.

On hearing on radio of the Japanese offer to surrender on 10 August 1945, American soldiers and English girls parade the "Stars and Stripes" past the famous Criterion restaurant in Piccadilly Circus, London.
American soldiers and British civilians in Piccadilly Circus, 10 August 1945.
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3. Dancing in Oxford Circus

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3. Dancing in Oxford Circus

Crowds dance in Oxford Circus, London, on 10 August 1945.

Crowds dancing in Oxford Circus, London.
Crowds dance in Oxford Circus, 10 August 1945.
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4. Cheers from the Cocos Islands

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4. Cheers from the Cocos Islands

Ground crews of No. 356 Squadron RAF, based at Brown's West Island in the Cocos Islands, celebrate the news of Japan’s surrender, 14 August 1945.

Ground crews of No.356 Squadron RAF based at the Brown's West Island, Cocos Islands, celebrate in front of one of their Consolidated Liberator Mark B VIs on hearing the news of the surrender of Japan.
Ground crews of No. 356 Squadron RAF in the Cocos Islands celebrate on 14 August 1945.
Photographs

5. Celebrating in Nairobi

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5. Celebrating in Nairobi

Allied forces during the VJ Day parade in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15 August 1945. Over 5,000 servicemen and women took part in the parade, including troops of East Africa Command, nursing officers, and men of women of the RAF and Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.

A parade of 5,000 troops was part of Nairobi's VJ Day Celebrations. Picture shows: The parade seen from the roof of a tall building in Delamere Avenue.
Allied forces during the VJ Day parade in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15 August 1945.
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6. Partying in Piccadilly Circus

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6. Partying in Piccadilly Circus

Civilians and service personnel in London's Piccadilly Circus celebrate victory over Japan, August 1945.

In London's Piccadilly Circus,a group of servicemen and women, and a civilian woman, link arms as they walk towards the camera, singing as they dance in celebration around Eros (not pictured), on the news that the war in Japan is over. Behind them, crowds of people are gathered in the sunshine. Several buses can also be seen. This photograph was taken from beside Eros, looking towards Piccadilly (left) and Regent Street (right).
Civilians and service personnel in Piccadilly Circus celebrate Allied victory, August 1945.
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7. Festivities on Regent Street

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7. Festivities on Regent Street

Civilians walk amongst piles of torn up paper that have been thrown from the windows of offices on Lower Regent Street in London to celebrate the victory over Japan, August 1945.

Civilians walk amongst the piles of torn up paper which have been thrown, 'ticker tape'-style, from the windows of offices, on Lower Regent Street, London, to celebrate the signing of the Peace with Japan, 15 August 1945. More paper can be seen fluttering down onto the pavement and road: many vehicles appear to have stopped. It appears that this photograph was taken on Lower Regent Street, looking back up towards Piccadilly Circus. In the middle of the road, a brick surface shelter can be seen.
Civilians celebrate on Lower Regent Street, London, August 1945.
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8. Lord Mountbatten salutes in Ceylon

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8. Lord Mountbatten salutes in Ceylon

Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia, takes the salute during the VJ Day Parade on the Galle Face Green in Columbo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), on 25 August 1945.

Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, takes the salute during the VJ Day Parade on the Galle Face Green, Columbo, Ceylon.
Lord Louis Mountbatten takes the salute during the VJ Day Parade in Ceylon, 25 August 1945.
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9. A parade at RAF Watnall

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9. A parade at RAF Watnall

Airmen during the VJ Day parade at RAF Watnall in Nottinghamshire. A service, conducted by the chaplain pictured here on the far right, was also held.

Airmen march past the GOC.
Airmen during the VJ Day parade at RAF Watnall, Nottinghamshire.
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10. The Royal Navy joins in the celebrations

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10. The Royal Navy joins in the celebrations

In this photograph, taken from the Royal Navy warship HMS Empress, units of the British East Indies Fleet celebrate VJ Night in Trincomalee, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

From the EMPRESS as units of the British East Indies Fleet celebrated VJ night at Trincomalee.
View from the HMS Empress as units of the British East Indies Fleet celebrate VJ Night in Ceylon.
Photographs

11. The Four Nations Parade

Photographs

11. The Four Nations Parade

British Sexton self-propelled guns drive down the Charlottenburger Chaussee in Berlin during the Four Nations VJ Day parade on 7 September 1945, five days after the formal surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay.

British Sexton self-propelled guns driving down the Charlottenburg Chaussee in Berlin during the Four Nations VJ Day parade.
British Sexton self-propelled guns in Berlin during the Four Nations VJ Day parade, 7 September 1945.

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