SEVENTY years on from the nuclear holocaust that destroyed Hiroshima, campaigners staged a riverside ceremony to mark the first use of an atomic weapon in war.
Members of Woking Action for Peace set off a flotilla of tealight lanterns to flicker gently down the River Wey as it got dark on Saturday evening.
The candles, sitting in grapefruit and orange skins, were launched from the towpath by the New Inn at Send.
They were to commemorate Hiroshima being decimated by a bomb that was dropped by the US Air Force in August 1945 to force Japan to surrender.
About 30 members of the peace group and their friends were joined by pub customers for the ceremony. They remembered the deaths of 140,000 people and 70,000 fatalities when a second nuclear bomb fell on Nagasaki three days later.
One of the organisers, Keith Scott, said: “The bombs dropped on Japan were small compared with the 27,000 weapons in today’s nuclear arsenals around the world. Seventy years later, countries are still stockpiling and renewing nuclear warheads.
“The UK alone has almost 200 nuclear weapons, and they are 10 times more powerful than those dropped on Japan.
“This shows that groups like Woking Action for Peace and CND, of which we are a part, are still very much needed to publicise this madness and oppose the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear submarines.”
WOKING Borough Council will be hosting a similar ceremony for V-J Day in the town centre’s Jubilee Square on Saturday (August 15).