Service in St Albans to honour Burma heroes

PUBLISHED: 16:05 11 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:05 11 August 2016

Burma Star wreath

Burma Star wreath


Residents have been invited to attend a Burma Star Remembrance service this weekend, to pay tribute to those who fought and died in the Far East/Burma Campaign of the Second World War.

Norman Davies, of the St Albans branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “Tuesday, May 8, 1945, was a public holiday and celebration in the United Kingdom. It was known then, and ever since, as VE Day.

“However, for those on the other side of the world, 6,000 miles away, there was nothing to celebrate. In Burma, British, Indian, Ghurka, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, American, West African and Chinese soldiers continued to fight the Japanese Imperial Army.

“Not only did these men face a fierce, skilled enemy, often in hand-to-hand engagements, but they also endured the awful rigours of jungle warfare with disease and exhaustion, in extreme humidity and temperatures constantly over 30 degrees Celsius.”

By the time the heroic defenders of Kohima finally returned to Britain, the war in Europe had been over for a year.

For their service the British and Commonwealth forces were awarded a medal called the Burma Star and every year the St Albans branch of the Legion pays tribute to these brave men in a ceremony at Woodland Park, off Sandringham Crescent, near the junction of Chiltern Road and Chiltern Crescent in Jersey Farm.

Members of the public are very welcome to attend this ceremony to demonstrate our appreciation of the sacrifices made on our behalf. There will also be tributes paid to Royal Naval veterans and veterans of the Korean War.

The ceremony starts at 2.45pm this Sunday, August 14.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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