ST MARY’S in Horsell will join churches across the UK and globally in commemorating VJ Day, the end of the Second World War, at 11.10am on Saturday.

“It had been intended that peals or quarter peals would be rung but, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, we will only be able to ring a single bell, 75 times,” Alan Nichols, bell ringer and head server at St Mary’s, said.

"There will just be me in the bell tower, which is quite small, because of the various health protocols.

“I shall read the Proclamation on the path between the lych gate and the church door first, and although no one is allowed in the church people can still listen from the footpath opposite.

“I’ll just have to speak very loudly.”

The Proclamation pays tribute to the fallen of many nations and reminds us that their sacrifice must never be forgotten.

The occasion has a particular significance for Alan, whose father served with the 14th Army – “the Forgotten Army” – in Burma.

“He was a battery commander and was wounded but survived,” Alan said. “He was in Burma for VJ Day but rarely talked about the war when he came home.

“My mother served in the Royal Air Force during his posting, so days like this always mean that bit more to me.”

See Peeps Into The Past on page 11, 13 August edition of the News & Mail