THE “FORGOTTEN” heroes who fought the Japanese in the jungle of Burma joined Vera Lynn’s daughter to commemorate VJ Day.

Victory in Japan Day is marked on August 15 every year, and this year is the 75th anniversary of the moment the Second World War finally ended.

The conflict in the Far East dragged on for many more months beyond May 1945, when the Nazis were defeated in Europe.

Now, Burma veterans, who are often seen as Britain’s “forgotten army” during the Second World War, have shared their thoughts on the importance of the late Dame Vera Lynn, who lived in Ditchling, Sussex for many years after the war.

The Argus:

The Forces’ Sweeetheart went out to Burma to perform for troops and boost morale.

Read more on The Argus: In Pictures - Nation remembers Dame Vera Lynn

In “Voices of VJ Day – Remembering the Forgotten Army”, a podcast for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Virginia Lewis Jones spoke of her mother’s determination to raise morale among troops in what was known as The Forgotten Army, more than 5,000 miles from home.

The Argus:

She said: “The ENSA lot would only go so far – say, to India – and Mum made it quite clear that she wanted to go somewhere no one else had been.

WShe knew of “The Forgotten Army” in Burma and said, ‘Right, that’s where I’ve got to go.’ She made a point of wanting to go where no-one else had been – that was the important thing to her.”

Read more on The Argus: How Sussex remembered Dame Vera Lynn

On the podcast, one veteran recalled: "The men were divided in their opinion of her voice. But not after that hot, steamy evening in 1944 in the Burmese jungle.

"We stood in our hundreds and watched a tall, fair-haired girl walk onto a makeshift stage and stand beside an old piano.

The Argus:

"She sang half a dozen songs in a strong, clear voice. We could hear every word. She tried to leave the stage but the men were clapping and cheering.

"She sang three more songs but still they went on cheering. She sang until her make-up was running in dark furrows down her cheeks, until her dress was wet with sweat, until her voice became a croak.

"She was the only star we ever saw in the jungle.”

The Argus:

In July this year The Argus reported live from Ditchling as the nation paused to remember Dame Vera Lynn. She died aged 103.

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