Already 2 years have passed since the National FEPOW Fellowship Welfare Remembrance Association (NFFWRA) began their initial preparations for their plans to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the end of the war in the Far East (VJ Day) on 15th August 2015.
Although still a way off , the 14-month count down has now begun following a visit to Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 21st May 2014.
FEPOW Chaplain Mrs Pauline Simpson of Neatishead was the guest of the Association’s Patron HRH the Duke of Gloucester, at a garden party held at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the achievements of a variety of charities and organisations up and down the country, which are supported by members of the Royal family. Her husband Mr Jeremy Simpson, the Association’s Chairman and Treasurer, Mr and Mrs Tony Burrows, and FEPOW veteran Stan Burridge, 95, and Stan’s daughter Mrs Karen Woodford, accompanied Mrs Simpson. NFFWRA Secretary Pauline Simpson & her husband Jerry with Chairman Tony Burrows and his wife, Treasurer Lynda Burrows.
HRH the Duke of Gloucester, having been introduced to Mrs Simpson, went on to spend several moments with the group and was immensely interested in the activities of the Association and was pleased to be associated as it’s Patron. Following afternoon tea and the opportunity to enjoy the gardens, there followed a walk about by the Royal party in which the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Beatrice, Princess Michael and the Duchess of Gloucester stopped briefly to chat with members of the FEPOW party.
The Association recognises that in the next 14 months the real hard work is now to begin with reaching out to all those FEPOWs still alive along with their families to bring this Anniversary to the nation’s attention – to remember the ‘Forgotten army’. A service is to take place in the Church of St Martin-in-the-Field, Trafalgar Square London on 15th August 2015 at 11am. The Rt Rev’d Nigel Stock, Bishop at Lambeth, who was recently appointed as The Bishop to the Armed Forces is to preach at the service. It is hoped that HRH the Duke of Gloucester will be in attendance.
Arrangements are being made with local coach and rail services in East Anglia to get the veterans and their families there and back whether it is just for the day or the weekend.
Accommodation has been organised at the Union Jack Club near Waterloo Station for those who wish to stay over on the Friday 14th August and/or the Saturday 15th August. On Saturday there will be an evening of ‘40’s entertainment, which follows a hot buffet later in the day (this will be free for all veterans, wives and widows).
Update on 8th July 2015 – the response for applications for tickets for the VJ Day service at St.Martin’s in the Fields and for the dinner at the Union Jack Club has been overwhelming and there are now no tickets available for either the service or the dinner. Anyone without a ticket who still wishes to attend the service please email firstname.lastname@example.org from 1st August 2015 to see whether any tickets have become available as a result of cancellations.