Wreath commemorating VJ Day goes missing from Lewes War Memorial

SUS-150821-091653001

SUS-150821-091653001

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A white poppy wreath laid at the Lewes War Memorial to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day has gone missing.

The Royal British Legion had marked the historic event with a service of remembrance conducted by Reverend Robert Bell and a wreath laying ceremony.

Photo by Kirsty Townsend. SUS-150818-161113001

Photo by Kirsty Townsend. SUS-150818-161113001

A VJ floral tribute was laid by Mr Stephen Townsend and the wreaths were laid by Imogen Makepeace, the Deputy Mayor for Lewes, Jim Daly, President of Royal British Legion Lewes, Bertha Rutley, President of Women’s Section Royal British Legion, Brian Walters, Royal Artillery Association, Paul Courtnage, Royal Sussex Association and Jack Stabler, Royal Air Force Association.

However, a ring of white poppies laid by the Deputy Mayor for Lewes, Imogen Makepeace, has since been taken from its plinth at the Lewes cenotaph.

She said: “It’s a pity the white poppy wreath I laid at the War Memorial alongside wreaths from ex-service men and women to commemorate the end of hostilities in Japan has gone missing.

“It’s almost as if it has been removed from the plinth, although I struggle to believe there could be anyone in Lewes as mean-spirited and narrow-minded enough to have done that.

Photo by Kirsty Townsend. SUS-150818-161139001

Photo by Kirsty Townsend. SUS-150818-161139001

“It certainly would not have been anyone from the Royal British Legion, who embrace the concept of the white poppy, marking as it does, all deaths in war whether military or civilian.

“To commemorate a victory over a nation which had recently witnessed the killing of 130,000 civilians by the dropping of two atomic bombs without a tiny acknowledgement of that suffering comes either from ignorance or a lack of compassion, neither of which are characteristics of Lewesians.”

At the service, the last post was sounded by the Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band (LGB) followed by a two-minute silence giving all involved time to reflect on the horrors of war and the inhuman treatment of prisoners of war.

The ceremony concluded with Reveille by LGB.

Photo by Kirsty Townsend. SUS-150818-161150001

Photo by Kirsty Townsend. SUS-150818-161150001

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Photo by Kirsty Townsend. SUS-150818-161046001

Photo by Kirsty Townsend. SUS-150818-161046001