August 16 - 22, 2015: Issue 227


VP Day Commemorative Service 2015 –  at Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph

 VP Day Commemorative Service 2015 – 70 Years
Returned and Services League of Australia
Avalon Beach Sub Branch
Saturday 15th August 2015

VP Day commemorations occurred at cenotaphs and Shrines of Remembrance around the Australia yesterday, and will take place in the United Kingdom and the United States of America today, marking the moment on August 15, 1945 when Japan's Emperor Hirohito announced to his people via radio his nation would surrender to the Allies. 
2015's VP Day marks the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II.

A Commemorative Service was held at Avalon Beach Cenotaph during which Pittwater’s MP, the Hon. Robert Stokes gave the 2015 VP Day Commemorative Address. Mr. Stokes asked those who attended to remember how our community was feeling on this day 70 years ago, bringing an immediacy to the Service  that resounded with those who had gathered to pay their respects.

Commodore Graham Sloper (RAN Rtd.) and President of the Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch conducted this year’s VP Day service, introducing Mr. Stokes:

At this year’s Avalon Tattoo I mentioned how fortunate we are on the Northern Beaches to have three tiers of Government – The Federal Level, State and our Local Government. On the Federal level I rate our representative Hon. Bronwyn Bishop along with two others as head and shoulders above all others in looking after our Defence Force. Bob Ray, Ken Beazley and Bronwyn Bishop have all done wonders for the Defence Force.
At the Local level we have a great rapport with Pittwater Council from whom we receive great support.
On the State level Rob Stokes is present at every meeting and attends every community event and Commemoration Service to support our Returned Service personnel. He is currently the Minister for Planning, which must be one of the most challenging portfolios in State Government. Would you please welcome the Honourable Rob Stokes MP for Pittwater and Minister for Planning.

Commemoration Address VP Day 2015: The Hon. Robert Stokes MP for Pittwater and Minister for Planning:

Thank you
Distinguished Guests, Members of the Avalon Beach Sub-Branch and other Returned Service men and women, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls;
Today we gather to commemorate VP day or VJ Day as it is known in areas other than Australia. Today it is 70 years since the original Declaration of the first VP Day on August the 14th and August the 15th 1945 – the difference being the date when the Japanese Government, through Prime Minister Kantarō Suzuki, communicated the Imperial Japanese Government’s willingness to adhere to the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and the time that message was received in the United States, across the International Date Line.
That day brought some incredible emotions to the fore. It was met variously with delirium, with despair, and with anger.
The delirium was the emotion experienced through the capitals and many of the major cities and towns of the Allied nations. The celebrations in Sydney and the famous picture of the dancing man were communicated around the world.
The delirium was so uncontrollable in the United States that it led to rioting in which 11 people were killed.*
The extraordinary emotions that were confronted with the knowledge that the war in the Pacific had come to an end were absolutely extraordinary.

It’s also important to note that the end of hostilities was also met with despair by those in prisoner-of-war camps who were, at news of the surrender, murdered by their Japanese captors in places like Ranau and Sandakan and also in various places on the Japanese mainland.

It was also a period that was met with great anger and that is one of the more troubling aspects to speak about, but it is important that we remember the emotions that were felt by our community at the time.  

In my own family history I am reminded of my grandmother apparently taking to a dinghy and rowing out into the Pittwater, having collected all of the items in the household marked ‘Made in Japan’, and throwing them into the depths of the water, such was her anger and feeling about what had occurred. 

Ladies and gentlemen we need to understand what that was all about, what prompted it and why it’s important that we don’t forget.
VP Day represented the end of hostilities and a conflagration that had taken 70 million lives; 3% of the world’s population at that time died during the Second World War. One half of those casualties were suffered in the Pacific. Australia lost 17, 701 war dead in the Pacific alone. 

When we add to that the sheer scale of human misery experienced in other Allied nations we get to understand something of the picture that led to the emotions of the time. 

The war in the Pacific and the Far East, or the near north for us, resulted in the deaths of  approximately 18 million Chinese civilians, 4 million Indonesian civilians, 2 million Indian civilians, and over 1 million Filipino civilians. The scale of human tragedy was absolutely incalculable.

In Japan itself, with the dropping the two Atomic bombs, more than 100 thousand people were killed, and around a quarter of all Japanese servicemen also died in that terrible conflict.

The anger is also something we need to understand and we need to remember. The anger stemmed from the treatment of so many of the civilians and servicemen and women at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Forces and their allies. A shocking statistic is that o
f the 22, 346 Australians imprisoned in the Pacific, who were taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II more than a third, around 8 thousand men and women, were killed during their time in prisoner-of-war camps. To put that into context – when you look at the evils and horrors of Nazi Germany, of the 7, 919 Australians taken captive during the war in Europe, just 200 died in prisoner-of-war camps.

That is something that may help others to understand the anger that was in the community, the resentment and also the despair as well as the jubilation that that terrible conflagration, that terrible human conflict had come to and end.

Where does that leave us now ladies and gentlemen? One incredible and almost untold story of the Australian spirit is the way that,
from those emotions of despair and horror and anger, we have today forged an incredibly enduring alliance with the modern state of Japan. Today one of our major trading partners is a nation with whom we experienced an awful and horrific and bloody war just 70 years ago. 

This says something about the nature of Australians, that our society, over such a short period of time, was able to forgive.
I know that for many of your families, as in my family, people have taken to their grave an abiding hatred of the Japanese. It is extraordinary, however, that during such a short period of time relatively, we have been able to forge from the ashes an enduring and deep alliance with a former foe. I think this speaks volumes about the Australian spirit of forgiveness and also the nature of our relationship with Japan.

So today is a very important day – it is a day for us to Remember the jubilation, the despair, and the anger that was felt 70 years ago today.
Today is a day for us to Remember the sacrifice of those who served and those who fell and those who returned bearing the scars of their time in service.
Today is a time to Reflect on what we can do to build a lasting peace.
Certainly we need to help build this through the example of our lives and through building a resilient and strong community – but we must also never forget the sacrifice of those who gave their all for our safety.
It is a time that we remember the forgiveness that our nation has had towards the Empire of Japan, now the State of Japan, but it is also a time that we remember the incredible sacrifices that that lasting peace incurred.
Lest We Forget.


Returned and Services League of Australia
Avalon Beach Sub Branch
Saturday 15th August 2015

Conducted by Commodore Graham Sloper
Commemoration Address VP Day 2015 : The Hon. Robert Stokes MP for Pittwater and Minister for Planning
The Catafalque Party and Honour Guard formed from 305 SQN AAFC
Catafalque Party: 305 Squadron  (Commanding Officer- Adrian Gibney PILOT OFFICER AAFC)
CADET UNDER OFFICER Jakeb Sparke, Training Officer 
Cadets: Matthew Cutrie, Luke Kario, Aiden Crick, Courtney Campbell, Jared Willis
The singing was led by The Avalon Voices
Prayer for the Fallen: Vice President Robert Dodds
Prayer for the Services: Vice President Bob Lacey
Pittwater Councillors Bob Grace and Selena Griffith attended
Many thanks to Lynn Murphy – Sub-Branch Office Administrator.


OKINAWA. Aug. 12 (A.A.P.).- At least six persons were killed and 30 wounded by bullets from anti-aircraft guns in Friday night's spectacular display of rockets, anti-aircraft fire, and flares in celebration of Japan's surrender offer. Commanders had to order the air-raid alert to be sounded to halt the demonstration.
SIX KILLED DURING PEACE DISPLAY. (1945, August 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from 


Pittwater Online News Photo Album for Attendees HERE

VP Commemorative Service 2015 

Hon. Robert Stokes - MP for Pittwater.

Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch Vice Presidents Bob Lacey and Robert Dodds

Avalon Beach Sub-Branch Member Tamara Sloper Harding with Danni Sloper 

Avalon Beach Sub-Branch Member Graham Russell 

 Hon. Robert Stokes, Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch President Graham Sloper, Avalon Beach Sub-Branch Member Chris Chubb who is a survivor of a Japanese POW camp in Hong Kong in 1945.

Extras: 70th Anniversary of VP Day - August 15th, 2015

Many Australian service people who had been part of the Pacific conflict then went on to serve in Japan as part of the occupation forces, others had to wait months to be able to come home. Australian nurses were also sent into these areas to work at makeshift hospitals or visited POW camps such as Changi at the cessation of hostilities to attend to the ill and malnourished or cheer them with a friendly face. This article, one of many examples, finds a few locals awaiting release and health enough to be transported home:

Ex-prisoners see first three Australian girls - Stop in their tracks as Air Force nurses appear

From EDDIE DUNSTAN in Singapore

Six thousand of our prisoners of war at Singapore saw Australian girls for the first time for three and a half years when I took three flying nurses out to Changi camp. Diggers stopped in their tracks when the girls entered the camp, but quickly recognising them as Australians they gathered round in hundreds. The girls were plied with questions and invited to innumerable cups of tea. They entered dozens of huts, chatting to the men, giving them the latest news of home.

ONE sister said, as she left the camp, "What impressed me most was the boys’ amazing spirit. One dismissed his 3½ years in Japanese hands by saying, 'It's been worth it for what has been achieved.' It was clear that was how they all felt about it."

Morale of A.IF. prisoners of war has always been high. Everywhere we went in Changi we found evidence of the unquenchable Australian spirit. They were much more interested in questions about good old Aussie, the races, and the Bridge, than int alking about their own long and wretched ordeal.

Pretty, trim Senior-Sister Margaret Braid, of Perth, Sisters Helen Cleary, of Peterborough, and Margaret Wroe, of Brisbane, spent several hours at the camp visiting all sections, including the hospital, where their appearance had a tonic effect on the patients.

Among the patients we met here was veteran Ben Wilson, of Belfast Street. Geelong (Vic). He is 63,but when he joined the A.I.F. at the beginning of the war was only 40!He is a corporal, and was a captain in the 1914-18 war, and also fought in the Boer War.

He told Sister Braid:

"I have two boys in the Air Force. One I know is back home. The other I don't know about. Last I heard he was flying over Germany. If I find them both safe I will be happy."

When Margaret commented on his long record as a soldier he smiled.

"Unless there is a bath-chair brigade I won't be looking for anymore wars."

I met the sisters at Singapore's Goodwood Park Hotel, which is now Recovery of Allied Prioners of War and Internees' headquarters. They were talking with Australian prisoners of war who had come in from camps in connection with RAPWI details.

They were then flying our wounded home from New Guinea and Bougainville. Now they are here to fly our prisoners of war down to Bangkok. Almost the first person they met at Changi camp was Captain Ben Barnett, Australian Test cricketer. We left him to run into Flight-Lieutenant "Huck" Finlay, former international Rugby player, and before the war A.B.C. manager in Brisbane

"Huck" joined our party as guide. Until three months ago he was a prisoner of war in Sumatra, then was transferred to Changi camp.

Before we had gone far, Sister Wroe had met an old patient. He was Cpl. Rod Brown, of Kalinga, Queensland, whom she nursed in Brisbane General Hospital in 1941.

"This is too much," said Rod. "Look, I am shaking with excitement."

Indicating his bare feet, he grinned apologetically, and said: "I have just had some boots given to me. They are the first I have worn for months, and my feet are all blisters."

Margaret Braid meanwhile was talking with Kelvin Woolf, of Collingwood (Vic), batman right through to Major Bruce Hunt, of Perth, of whom we were to hear plenty from Diggers, and whom we met later that day. Kelvin, who is devoted to the Major, said: "I am going back with him, and will settle in the West."

Also in the group round us now were Cpl. Jack Farrell, of Proserpine, getting Queensland news from Sister Wroe and Major J. Rossen, of Shepparton (Vic), who was senior dental officer with the A.I.F. in Malaya, and has been in Changi camp since Singapore's fall.

More food

He told us how dentures had been made in camp of Perspex scrounged from Jap planes.

Incidentally, "scrounge" is the euphemism for any method by which prisoners of war acquired "extras."

In the "ward" set aside for cases of extreme debilitation the girls chatted with and brightened the spirits of both Australian and British patients

In the temporary absence of the medical officer, Major Hunt, who was busy, Sgt.-Major Alan Buttenshaw, of Sydney, introduced us to the men

He explained that all malnutrition cases came to this ward There were 200 patients in the ward when we visited it. Until three weeks ago the average weight of patients was 100lb. Buttenshaw told us that in the last three weeks, during which the Japs, with the end near, increased food supplies, men had gained up to a stone. He told us, too, how prisoners of war who received slightly higher rations for heavy duties had cheerfully given these to the men in hospital.

"It meant a bit of extra rice and a few extra greens for our chaps," said Buttenshaw.

Main complaints from which these men were suffering were debility, chronic malaria, beri beri (deficiency disease which produces enormous swelling).

Very excited, as he had just learned he was to move out in a few minutes and go aboard a British hospital ship for England, was Pte. John Harper, of Yorkshire. Pale and dreadfully emaciated, Harper was a game, pleasant person, and gave me an idea of how much British prisoners of war thought of Major Hunt.

"He has certainly done a great job," Harper said. "He has never favored the Aussies, which might have been only natural. We British chaps are thankful for the good he has done."

Two Australian patients nearby heard Harper's remarks, and they, too, had warm words of praise for the Major.

These men-Sgt. Alec G. Gordon, of Sackville Street, Greenslopes, Brisbane, and W/O. Leonard Dawson, of Goodwin Street, Narrabeen (N.S.W.)-were members of "F" Force, which was sent from Changi to work on the Siam-Burma railway.

This force, consisting of 3600 Australians and 3300 British, suffered shockingly at the hands of the Japs, thousands dying in the jungle. More than one thousand Australians died, but British deaths were even higher. Hunt, a brilliant doctor, with a striking personality, was medical officer in charge of the Australian section of the force, and all who came back from the dreadful ordeal agree that but for him our losses would have been much heavier.

Gordon said: "He did a marvelous job. Most of us in V Force consider he earned the V.C. Not a day passed that he didn't breast the Japs, and get bashed."

Fought cholera

DAWSON said: "If it had not been for him I doubt if a single one of the 1800 of us in No. 1 Camp of 'F’ force would have survived. Cholera broke out, and Major Hunt, working under the worst possible conditions, stopped it."

Other Australians the flying nurses met and chatted with in this ward were Sgt. Sydney Dickens, Pittwater Rd., Narrabeen (NS.W.);Lance-Cpl. Robert Sellers. Campsie(N.S.W.); Pte. Ben McFarlane, Wollongong (N.S.W.); Pte. Frank Bellew, Ernest St., Crows Nest (N.S.W.). Ex-prisoners see first three Australian girls. (1945, September 29). The Australian Women's Weekly - Illustrated (1933 - 1982), p. 11. Retrieved from

Or this example of the long way home from a ferry and train ride away:


-These veterans from Borneo and Rabaul found a Christmas dinner of turkey, ham and plum pudding waiting for them when they arrived by troop train at Gosford station early yesterday afternoon. The meal, which was served to 500, was provided by the Gosford railway refreshment room staff, headed by the manager, Mr. Hart. The Gosford Services Canteen also provided a hot chicken dinner for travelling soldiers and sailors free of cost. Mr. H. Pateman and Miss J. Pateman, two of the "old originals" of the canteen, cooked the dinner. NOT HOME IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, BUT—. (1945, December 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

The prospect of peace and celebrations once this finally occurred in both Europe and the Pacific, and the difficulties, after so long a period of time, six years, to what may come next, filled our papers of this year. 

Strikes in Industry erupted here days after peace was declared, protests against rationing, petty arguments about costs of war in financial terms and movements to build lasting peace were symptoms of a nation exhausted by six years of turmoil and the loss of so many loved ones as much as the time it was taking to find those still 'somewhere', to find out of they were alright, as well as the months it took to bring others home.

Our parents or grandparents, children then, many of whom remember the day Peace was declared, are among those we must ask about this day now. Of those older than these there is only around 30,000 Australian veterans of World War II who remain with us today. One million Australians were part of the war effort, almost half of whom served overseas.

A few pages from the days around the first VP Day:

THE PULPIT, Preparing For Peace

"The tasks and, problems of the post-war world are not only the responsibility of politicians and technicians, but of the ordinary citizen," said the Rev. R. N. Gledhill in the Paddington Methodist Church yesterday.

It was quite wrong for the man in the street to assume that because of their complexity and immensity he could do nothing about them, he added. Just as ordinary people by the thousand were engaged in winning the war, so winning the peace was a task for everybody.

Mr. Gledhill said there was a tragic indifference to public affairs. Thousands would not even exercise their franchise unless they were compelled to do so. Hitler in "Mein ....." had said that in his plans he would rely on the indifference of the great masses of the people.

"May this not also be a part of his plans when he loses the war?" he added. "Plato's wise words need to be taken to heart: 'The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.' A nation can be kept spiritually awake only by the constant vigilance of those who cared. The awful apathy of the present must give way to a greater sense of personal responsibility to world affairs, the nation, and God." THE PULPIT. (1945, February 5). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

What of the Peace? 


MUSSOLINI called Italy, to hatred, a growing hatred in every home and every heart, as the condition of victory. Hitler taught his people that they had no moral obligations outside the Reich, and an authoritative German statement says: "We must always resist the temptation to devote our energies for the good of others."

That evil spirit is not confined to geographical limits, even though not so shamelessly proclaimed. The day of victory for us has dawned, though the noon-day has not yet come. Victory we shall gain through the heroic courage, suffering, and sacrifice of our soldiers. It is ours to make of it something better than a paper-peace, for they, even more than we, deserve it, and the world needs it. 

We are passing through a war made the more ghastly-by the perverted use of scientific knowledge. The previous world war was to be "a war to end war" and the attempt was made through the League of Nations, that well Intended but ineffective instrument of world peace.

Dr. H. E. Fosdick has said that the worst thing about war is what comes when it stops, and tells the story of a man who fell from the roof of his house. When asked if the fail hurt much .he replied, "No the fall-didn't hurt me, it was the stopping that nearly killed me." 

War unites; it is the aftermath of victory that divides. We are thankful that, at last the nations are proclaiming that war is a ghastly blunder to be avoided for all time, and seek to do that, not by universal disarmament as the simple might think, but by policing war criminals.

THAT may be all that is possible in an un-Christian world, but let us know it for what it is, a more or less prolonged truce maintained by force. As Scripture says. "Doth a fountain at the same place send-forth sweet water and bitter?" Wars are made, not happen, and a Christianised democracy is the only safeguard. - We have also resolutions and charters-for the physical betterment of humanity which-are all to the good. We must have: freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of religious worship, equality before the law, while every economic system which frustrates human relations must be changed. These are not given by democracy as such, but by a Christianised democracy.

It has often been said that war settles nothing, but that is not true. Slum clearances do not solve the housing problem, but they do get rid of the slums and make way for better homes. War is demolition; peace is reconstruction, both material and moral. The Christian way was clearly, and simply put at the coming of  Jesus, "Peace on earth, goodwill among men." 

There can be no lasting, peace in this world unless based on goodwill, among men. It is a tremendous task, to which the Church must lead, and all peace loving men unite, though not to be accomplished in one generation. Meantime the madness of war is being checked by the ultimate threat of physical force. Who will say that such a task is impossible? Surely not, those who believe the faith they profess and that "with God all things are possible."  True. God works through, His willing people. "Aye, there's the rub.". What of the Peace?. (1945, August 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 


Victory over Japan has long been assured; its consummation in her unconditional surrender seems now at hand. Certainly the announcement broadcast by the official Japanese news agency that the Tokyo Government is ready to accept the terms of the Potsdam ultimatum, though subject to the protection of the Emperor's sovereign prerogatives, can only be read as meaning that Japan has realized the futility - indeed the insanity of continued resistance, whatever her future course of action. That the Allies will refuse to admit any reservations in the acceptance of their ultimatum, or will themselves be prepared to tie their hands in any respect where the future of the Emperor is concerned, can betaken for granted. The Potsdam ultimatum began with the words: "The following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives." Just when the final act of surrender takes place and hostilities cease thus depends upon how soon Japan signifies her readiness to put the fate of the Emperor as well as that of the nation unreservedly in the hands of the victors. JAPAN SEEKS PEACE. (1945, August 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from 


Top: Some of the big crowd which assembled at King's Cross last night after the announcement of Japan's peace offer.

Left: Girls were hoisted on to the shoulders of soldiers as they moved along Darlinghurst Road. Above: A large crowd sang and danced around a waste-paper container, which was turned into a bonfire at the corner of Springfield Avenue and Darlinghurst Road. SYDNEY REJOICES AT PEACE OFFER NEWS. (1945, August 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from 

Plan To Flash Peace News To Australia

News of Japan's decision on the surrender terms is not expected until today at the earliest, according to advice radio telephoned to Canberra yesterday by the Australian Minister in Washington, Sir Frederic Eggleston.

Sir Frederic Eggleston added that this was the current impression in Washington, where it was considered   that it might be even to-morrow be- fore Japan's notification was received.

The call was made about 3.30 p.m. yesterday, and took several minutes. It was the first time the radio-telephone had been used since the out-break of war.

As soon as the news is received in Washington Sir Frederic will flash it to Australia by radio-telephone. The Prime Minister, Mr. Chifley, will announce the end of the war to the Australian people in a nation-wide broadcast.

General MacArthur would give the cease fire order to Australian troops, it was officially stated in Canberra yesterday. This was because they were still under his overall command, it is not expected that there will be a quick mass return of Australian troops home. Some might be needed by General MacArthur as occupation forces, and the shipping position will be a delaying factor.


Mr. Chifley went from Canberra to Bathurst on Saturday, and arrived in Sydney yesterday. He will remain in Sydney today and will return to Canberra tomorrow, unless specially summoned.

The War Cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday will be held, subject to an emergency meeting being decided on. Parliament is not expected to resume before August 29, the date originally fixed. It is pointed out that there is no constitutional need for Parliament to be called to declare that a state of war no longer exists.

The Governor-General, the Duke of Gloucester, will return to Canberra when the news of Japan's surrender is received. He is being kept informed of the position during his Queensland tour. A Commonwealth Gazette signed by the Governor-General and the Prime Minister will be issued, announcing that a state of war no longer exists.  Plan To Flash Peace News To Australia. (1945, August 13).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 


The Victory March through Sydney, the United Service of Thanksgiving in the Domain, and the sunset service at the Cenotaph will be held to-morrow if Peace is announced before 4 p.m. today, but will be held on Thursday if Peace is declared today after 4 p.m.

The same procedure will be followed if the news comes later in the week or next week.

This announcement was made yesterday by the Acting Premier, Mr. Baddeley, after a conference of representatives of the Services, the Returned Soldiers' League, the police, the commercial broadcasting stations, the Premier's Department, and the City Council.  

The Minister for Transport, Mr.  O'sullivan, who presided, said that the date of the march could not be announced until peace had been officially declared.


Three R.A.A.F. squadrons, numbering 40 aircraft, will participate in a formation display during the Victory March. The squadrons will comprise Mosquitoes, Boomerangs, and Catalinas.

Mr. Baddeley said that the march would leave the Mitchell Library at 9.30 a.m. on the day set aside for it, and it would proceed to the Domain by way of Martin Place, George and Market Streets, and St. James Road.

The R.S.L. asks all persons interested to watch the press and radio for further details. Group plans to date include:- Air Training Corps Cadets assemble behind Mitchell Library at 8.45 a.m.; members of the 2/6th Australian General Hospital Association meet at the corner of Bent and Phillips Streets at 9 a.m.. Limbless soldiers are requested to assemble at Anzac House (near the Anzac Memorial) 45 minutes before the start of the march. Twelve cars have been supplied by the Voluntary War Transport.


An artillery unit will fire 101 guns in the outer Domain before the United Service of Thanksgiving, which will begin at 11 a.m.

The sunset service will be held at the Cenotaph at 5.30 p.m., and the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Mowll, will preside at both services.

The commercial broadcasting stations would be placed on specially constructed stands in different parts of the city and-stage and radio artists would give programmes which would be broadcast from 7 p.m. until mid-night.

N.E.S. sirens were tested in Sydney yesterday for use during the holidays to broadcast directions and music.

The Minister for Transport, Mr. O'Sullivan, warned people who had Neon lights not to use them for illuminations unless they had been over-hauled and found to be in good condition.

The Minister of Justice, Mr. Downing, said that he was now preparing details of the remissions of prison sentences which he would grant in commemoration of peace. They would be on the lines of those granted after the last war and at the Coronation of the present King.


Plans were yesterday completed by the Police Superintendent of Traffic, Mr. McKenzie, to keep all motor cars out of the city, should conditions warrant it, on the day or night peace is declared.

Mr. McKenzie appealed to motorists yesterday to keep their cars out of the city streets in the evening while waiting for the peace declaration.

The police cordon round the city, should the crowds warrant it, will mean that only essential vehicles will be permitted to enter the heart of the city. The boundary over which no car will be allowed to pass will close the city against motor traffic from the following streets: Bridge, Grosvenor, York, Margaret, Kent, Liverpool, Sussex, Hay, Thomas, Ultimo Road, Harris, Regent, Elizabeth, Wentworth Avenue, College, Queen's Square, and Macquarie to Bridge.

Motor traffic will also be banned in the King's Cross area.

Mr. McKenzie said that, while the traffic arrangements would be subject to the conditions prevailing, adequate precautions had been made to modify or extend the boundaries to prevent congestion and to minimise the risk to pedestrians.


Schools will close for the two school-days following the announcement of peace.

The Minister for Education, Mr.  Heffron, said that if the announcement was made during school hours a brief celebration would be held in all schools. National anthems would be sung and a short address would be given. Children could then be sent home.

If the announcement was made after school hours, the schools would remain closed for the two succeeding schooldays.

Mr. Heffron, said that flags would be flown-on-schools on the day of the announcement and for the following week. Pupils would be encouraged to join in celebrations held by the local authorities or by the Parents and Citizens' Association,


The Mayor of Mosman, Alderman G. K. Cowlishaw, said yesterday that a march would take place in Mosman on the day after the official announcement by the Prime Minister. The procession will begin at the Buena Vista Hotel at 11 a.m. This will be followed by a civic service in the Mosman Park at midday, when wreaths will be placed on the memorial.

In conjunction with soldiers' clubs in the vicinity Waverley Council has made arrangements for local peace celebrations.

There will be a thanksgiving service at 3 p.m. on the first day of the holidays at the Bondi Beach Auditorium, at which the principal speaker will be the Rev. Alan Walker. The Mayor, Alderman Anderson, will preside. In the evening there will be celebrations at Bondi Junction, where a large stage has been erected. Artists and orchestra will be in attendance. There will be dancing, community singing, etc. VICTORY MARCH AND THANKSGIVING. (1945, August 14).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

The morning paper - then 9.30 a.m., August 15, 1945:


Above: These two Diggers caused amusement among the crowd of revellers in Hyde Park when they waded through the pond of the Archibald Memorial while waiting for news of the peace. Below, centre. A section of the crowd around the radio entertainment in Martin Place.

Above: A Royal Navy rating; excited at the prospect of the war's end, found a hula skirt and entertained the crowds in Martin Place. Top centre: The smallest flag-waver among the thousands who waited for news of the Japanese surrender was seven-months-old Gregory Molfetas, of East Sydney, who was held by A.C.W. Lynette Pye. GAY CROWDS THRONG CITY AWAITING NEWS OF PEACE. (1945, August 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 



No longer a signal of distress, but a joyous symbol of victory, these rockets, which, which went up from small craft in Sydney Harbour last night, made the first pyrotechnic display which the city has seen since war was declared. HARBOUR ROCKETS SIGNAL FIRST NIGHT OF PEACE. (1945, August 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from 

Mr. Chifley's Broadcast

The Prime Minister, Mr. Chifley, announced the end of the war with Japan to the Australian people in a nation-wide broadcast at 9.30 a.m., yesterday. After reading the terms of the Note sent by Britain, the United States, Russia, and China to the Japanese Government and accepted by it, Mr. Chifley said:

"At this moment let us offer thanks to God. 

"Let us remember those whose lives were given that we may enjoy this glorious moment and may look forward to a peace which they have won for us. Let us remember those whose thoughts with proud sorrow turn towards gallant loved ones who will not come back.

"On behalf of the people and Government of Australia I offer humble thanks to the fighting men of the United Nations, whose gallantry, sacrifice, and devotion to duty have brought us the victory.

"Nothing can fully repay the debt we owe them: nor can history record in adequate terms their deeds from the black days that followed September, 1939 and December, 1941, until this moment.

"We owe, too, a great debt to those men and women who performed miracles of production in secondary and primary industries so that the battle of supply could be won and a massive effort achieved. Materials, money, and resources have been poured out so that the fighting men would not go short.

"Australia's part comparatively in terms of fighting forces and supplies ranks high, and the Australian people may be justly proud of everything they have done.

"I am sure that you would like me to convey to the commanders of the fighting forces the warmest thanks for their skill, efficiency, and great devotion.

"Especially do I mention General Douglas MacArthur, with whom we had so much in common, and with whom we shared the dangers when Australia was threatened with invasion.

"In your name I offer to the leaders of the United Nations our congratulations and thanks. We join with the United States in a common regret that their inspiring leader, the late Mr. Roosevelt, did not live to see this day.

"Australians, too, will feel the happiness tinged with sorrow that another man who gave his all was not spared to be with us today: that man was John Curtin.

"To Mr. Churchill, Generalissimo Stalin, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek go the unstinted thanks of free people everywhere for what they have done for the common cause. Especially do we honour Mr. Churchill, with whom in the dark days -- to use his own words -- we had the honour to stand alone against aggression.

"And now our men and women will come home -- our fighting men with battle honours thick upon them-from this theatre of war.

"Australians stopped the Japanese in their drive south, just as they helped start the first march towards ultimate victory in North Africa.

"Australians fought in the battles of the air everywhere, and Australian seamen covered every ocean.

"They are coming home to a peace which has to be won. The United Nations Charter for a world organisation is the hope of the world, and Australia has pledged the same activity in making it successful as she showed in the framing of it. Here in Australia there is much to be done.

"The Australian Government which stood steadfast during the dread days of war, will give all that it has to working and planning to ensure that the peace will be a real thing.

"I ask that the State Governments and all sections of the community should co-operate in facing the tasks and solving the problems that are ahead.

"Let us join together In the march of our nations to future greatness

"You are aware of what has been arranged for the celebration of this great victory and deliverance.  

"In the name of the Commonwealth Government I invite you to join in the thanksgiving services arranged, for truly this is a time to give thanks to God and to those men against whose sacrifices for us there is no comparison."


A special code word was employed so that the news could be flashed through as quickly as possible to Mr. Chifley. He went immediately to the Canberra National radio station. 2CY and waited until the National network had been lined up. Mr. Chifley's Broadcast. (1945, August 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from


Waving beams of searchlights from mobile Army units scattered about the city added their quota to the illuminations for victory night.


New York Goes Wild With Joy - From Our Staff Correspondents and A.A.P.

Every town and village in Britain, America,, and the Dominions celebrated victory with joyous abandon. Londoners, tired out after several late nights of anticipation, had gone to bed when the Prime Minister, Mr. Attlee, announced Japan's surrender at midnight, but crowds quickly assembled. They are still celebrating. The heart of New York-Times Square and Broadway-was packed with two million laughing, cheering, noisy people within an hour of the announcement. The celebrations look like lasting several days. CHEERING BRITISH, AMERICANS GREET PEACE VICTORY BONFIRES IN ENGLAND. (1945, August 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

No Trams, Cars in Centre of City Today

The centre of the city will be closed to tram and car traffic from half-past eight this morning until at least half-past eight to-night. At that hour the police will decide whether the cordon should be lifted.

Suburban train services will be maintained and electric trains will run to and from all stations at ten minute intervals. Persons wearing war medals will be able to travel on workers weekly-tikets until 10 pm

The centre of the city will be closed to traffic from 8.30 am to keep the streets clear for the Peace March. Trams from the Eastern suburbs will terminate  at Boomerang and Liverpool Streets and from the Railway and Western Suburbs at Bathurst Street.

The prohibited area for all except essential traffic is shown in the map


The Superintendent of traffic, Mr. McKenzie said last night It would be decided early in the evening whether the streets were so crowded that the ban on traffic should be continued after 8 30 p m

Suburban trains were crowded yesterday morning. Immediately the Prime Minister Mr Chifley, broadcast that Japan had surrendered men and women streamed from factories and offices and most of them turned homewards

At stations such as St Peters Macdonaldtown and Erskineville, which service workers from many factories the crush was much worse than at finishing time on a normal day when the traffic is spread over an hour or more. No Trams, Cars in Centre of City To-day. (1945, August 16).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved, from 

Sidelights on Peace Celebrations

Tie "swopping" became a craze in Martin Place after a small group of airmen and Awas decided to celebrate by wearing one another's ties. A few airmen Waaafs and Awas who refused to fall In with the craze had their ties taken, more or less forcibly. On officer directing an A.I.F. unit in the Victory March to Its appointed place prefaced a reprimand to them by saying, "Gentlemen, gentlemen!"

"Gentleman!" echoed a lance corporal. "Whacko-now I know the war's over!'"

An M.C. winner who lost both legs in action in New Guinea, stood throughout the National Thanksgiving Service at the War Memorial, Canberra, which lasted 35 minutes. He is Mr. Ted Young, of Canberra. "Please God. It's the last war," he said after the service.

Barefooted, and with his shirt flowing in the breeze, a soldier's interpretation of Gandhi praying before one of the Martin Place searchlights attracted a large crowd. He stepped out of character when he ceased his devotions to kiss the nearest girl.

When an ambulance stopped outside St. James Station, several young women used the windows as mirrors to repair their make-up. A few men combed their hair, and a naval petty officer was held fast while his companions combed his beard.

During the Victory March three Australian-built Mosquitoes, flying In tight "V" formation, dived under the Harbour Bridge at nearly 100 miles an hour flying low down the length of the harbour, and swept away past Manly.

As units assembled in the Domain for the Victory March, a young ex-Serviceman with one leg stood watching rather wistfully. As one unit began to move off a marcher called to the young man on crutches: "Come on, mate, be in it. We don't know where we're going, but there's room for plenty more."

The one-legged young ex-Service-man joined them, grinning. "May as well," he said. "No chance of getting slapped under arrest if I have to fall out of this show."

But, without being told, his bottle went to his hip pocket, and he held his hat to his left breast, as he "eyes righted" at the Cenotaph.

Women screamed when they saw a man hugging what appeared to be a naked woman, but was really a dummy from a near-by shop. Sidelights on Peace Celebrations. (1945, August 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

Plans for Change-over to Peace Outlined.

At the sunset service held at the Cenotaph, Martin Plane, yesterday, the State president of the R.S.L.. Mr. J. C. Nearie, is pictured placing a wreath on behalf of the League.:

Plans for Change-over to Peace Outlined. (1945, August 17).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

THE PULPIT - Peace Problems 

"The King's call to prayer is an occasion for us in the British Commonwealth to search our hearts, because we have to find in peace a goal to which we can give ourselves with the same urgency and single-mindedness which we gave to defending our homes and our way of life in war."  The Rev.. Alan. P. Tory said this in a sermon at St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church. Macquarie Street, last night.
It was Mr. Tory's final service in St. Stephan's Church before his departure on a visit to America, which is expected to occupy six months
"The crucial line of transition should be governed by the conception of trusteeship," said Mr. Tory. "We must not in peace forget those native races whose co-operation we welcomed in war. We must set out to Implement promises made when the threat of a common danger hung over us.
"Another aspect of trusteeship is our duty to the inheritance of freedom of speech and worship which is now handed on to us. The exercise of free speech implies having something to say worth hearing; and this derives from education, to which, as a nation, we ought to give much higher respect.
"Transcending differences of creed and theology," continued Mr. Tory, "there is a great, far-reaching division in the world between those for whom life means stewardship, and those for whom life is an opportunity for grabbing and exploitation.
"Around the focal centre of men of goodwill it may well be that the living Church of the future will gather." THE PULPIT. (1945, August 20). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

On Way Home 
On their way home after, five years in the service these men can afford to smile. For them the war is over now. V.P.-Day was, strictly speaking, the end of hostilities, but these men had to wait until ship's were obtainable. The big day of demobilisation is now at hand- They passed through Newcastle today. On Way Home. (1945, December 7). The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from 

KING SPEAKS TO EMPIRE: Thankfulness For Peace

LONDON, Dec. 25 (A.A.P.). "To win victory much of great price has been given up, but we still preserve those things that make life precious, and we find them deepened and strengthened by the fires of battle," said the King in a Christmas broadcast to the Empire.

"With my whole heart I pray to God, by whose grace victory has been won, that this Christmas may bring to my peoples all the world over every joy that they have dreamed in the early days that have gone.

"For six years 1 have spoken at Christmas to an Empire at war. During all those years of sorrow and danger, of weariness and strife, you and 1 have been upheld by a vision of a world at peace. Now that vision has become a reality.

"By gigantic efforts and sacrifices a great work has been done and a great evil has been cast from the earth. No peoples have done more to cast it out than you, to whom 1 speak.

Much Given Up

"To win victory, much that was of great price has been given up. Much has been ravaged and destroyed by the hand of war, but the things that have been saved are beyond price. In these homelands of the British peoples which we saved from destruction, we still possess the things that make life precious, and we shall find them strengthened and deepened by the fires of battle.

"Faith in these things held us in brotherhood through all our trials and carried us to victory.

"Perhaps a better understanding of that brotherhood is the most precious of all the gains that remain with us after these hard years.

"Together all our peoples round the globe have met every danger and triumphed over it, and we are together still.

"I think of the men and women of every race within the Empire re- turning from their long service to their own families, to their own homes and to the ways of peace. I think of the children, freed from unnatural fears and a blacked-out world celebrating this Christmas in the light and happiness of the family circle once more re-united.

"There will be vacant the places of those who will never return-brave souls who gave their all to win peace for us. We remember them with pride and with unfailing love, praying that a greater peace than ours may now be theirs.

Message of Hope

"There is not yet for us the abundance of peace. We all have to make a little go a long way. But Christmas comes with its message of hope and fellowship to all men of goodwill, and warms our hearts to the kindliness of comradeship.

"We cannot on this day forget how much is still to be done before the blessings of peace are brought to all the world.

"To the younger of you, I would say a special word. You have grown up in a world at war, in which your fine spirit of service has been devoted to a single purpose-the overthrow and destruction of our enemies.

"You have known the world only as a world of strife and fear. Bring now all that fine spirit to make it one of joyous adventure. A home in which men and women can live in mutual trust and walk together as friends. Do not judge life by what you have seen of it in the grimness and waste of war, nor yet by the confusion of the first years of peace.

"Merriment is a birthright of the young, but we can all keep it in our hearts as life goes on if we hold fast by the spirit that refuses to admit defeat, by the faith that never falters, by the hope that cannot be quenched.

No Fear of Future

"Let us have no fear of the future, but think of it as an opportunity and an adventure. That same dauntless resolve which you have shown so abundantly in the years of danger, that the power of darkness shall not prevail, must now be turned to happier purpose to make the light shine more brightly everywhere.

"The light of joy can most surely be kindled round the fireside where most of you are listening to me. Home life, as we all remember at Christmas, is life at its best. There, in the trust and love of parents, children, brothers, and sisters, we learn how men, and nations, too, may live together in unity and peace.

"So to every one of you gathered now in your homes or holding thought of home in your hearts, I say-Merry Christmas, God bless you all." KING SPEAKS TO EMPIRE. (1945, December 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from


Above: "Welcome stranger; I have missed you the last sixChristmasesPEACE AND GOODWILL. (1945, December 24).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

 Artillerymen Who Fired Victory Salute At Koigen, New Guinea

Members of the 6th Battery 2/3 Field Regiment who fired 100-gun salute at Koigen, near Wewak, during the 6th Division V-P Day celebrations. — Australian Official Photo. Artillerymen Who Fired Victory Salute At Koigen, New Guinea. (1945, September 13). Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from 

 Movietone Special Peace Australia Celebrates 1945 clip 2 on ASO Australia's audio and visual heritage online