Forgotten Army has its day in the sun

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The Independent Online
BENEATH a cascade of poppies and a scorching sun as hot as any in Burma, the Forgotten Army finally had its victory parade yesterday, 50 years after VJ Day marked the end of the Second World War in the Far East, writes Will Bennett.

The men who fought against the Japanese, Slim's 14th Army, whose sacrifices many felt were overlooked at home, joined those who were imprisoned and suffered at Japanese hands, in a tribute to the wartime generation outside Buckingham Palace.

The Duke of Edinburgh surprised many of the thousands of veterans who thronged the Mall when, instead of taking the salute, he insisted on joining members of the Burma Star Association to walk in the march past. "We are no longer forgotten, " said Walford Hughes, 75, one-time sergeant- major and the Burma Star Association's national secretary.

The ceremonies to commemorate the 50th anniversary of victory over Japan, begun by a Lancaster bomber showering the crowds with thousands of poppies, were more solemn than those for VE Day in May.

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