ON the 69th anniversary of VJ Day, veterans and villagers remembered those who served and lost their lives in the Far East during the Second World War.

Sedgefield Village Veterans held a service at the war memorial in Sedgefield, County Durham, to commemorate Victory over Japan Day, which officially marked the end of the war in 1945.

David Hillerby, from the group, led the service and wreaths were laid by Durham County Council chairman John Robinson, Sedgefield Mayor Mel Carr and Royal Signals veteran Geoff Pinter.

The service was especially poignant for Les Butler, of Sedgefield, and Edward Lennox, of Thornley, who both served in the Far East.

Mr Butler, 93, is one of the last surviving members of the West Yorkshire Regiment which fought the Japanese and was awarded the Burma Star.

Mr Lennox, 95, served with the Royal Engineers in Singapore and was taken a prisoner of war and forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam Railway.

Mr Hillerby said: “It is important to remember that there was a war in the Far East as well as one in Europe and a lot of British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed.

“It was a world war, a global war.

“It makes the service that much more poignant when ex Far East soldiers attend, it was the first time Mr Lennox has been.”