Dan Snow’s VJ Day Challenge

We’ve teamed up with historian and presenter Dan Snow to find out how YOU would tell the story of VJ Day today to mark this special 75th anniversary.

The challenge

What would YOU say to those who were involved with VJ Day and WW2 and gave so much 75 years ago? How would you thank them? Share your messages in a creative way, which could range from:

  • A video message (we were hugely inspired by the 1940’s style videos you shared for VE Day) 
  • A letter to a soldier or someone who served, perhaps overseas or on the homefront
  • A postcard
  • A poem
  • Do you know someone who served in the army or supported the war effort at home? Maybe you could thank them and tell their story…

There are lots of online resources you use to find out more about VJ Day and the Second World War:

We’ve also got a range of logos and colouring in posters you can use on our toolkit page.

More educational resources:

How to enter

  • Post your creative content on social media using the #VJDay75 hashtag and tagging Dan Snow in @thehistoryguy on Twitter and Instagram and the DCMS using @DCMS on Twitter and @dcmsgovuk on Instagram.
  • Email your entries to ve-vjday75@dcms.gov.uk and we’ll feature a selection on the website. Just include your first name, age and town.

Recent entries

Stanley, 13, from Epsom
Stanley, 13, from Epsom
Dora, 10, from Surrey
Dora, 10, from Surrey

 

Evelyn, 10 from Chessington
Evelyn, 10 from Chessington.

Robert and Fred Berry
Robert shares his father Fred Berry’s story

Robert Berry’s father Private Fred Berry 1130601 was enlisted into the British Armed Forces on 23 October 1941 at the age of 19 years. He was trained as an anti-tank gunner at Catterick in Yorkshire. He was posted to the 69th Anti-Tank Regiment and sailed to Bombay India in a convoy of ships which took nearly ten weeks to arrive in Bombay.

Upon arrival in Bombay he undertook further training as a gunner before being posted to 51/69 Royal Artillery Regiment.

He survived severe malnutrition, snakes and scorpions, malaria, jungle fatigue, attempts on his life from Japanese soldiers, and capture (and escape) from the Japanese armed forces. Many of his friends and colleagues did not survive.

He embarked onboard the J.V.O. ship from Bombay on 11 October 1945. He didn’t witness the departure from India as he was almost unconscious from Malaria. His friends smuggled him onboard and stowed him under a tarpaulin, otherwise he would have remained in hospital in India for a time.

‘”My dad talked very little about his experiences. But I know that he suffered many nightmares when back home,’ says Robert, 60, from Middleton. He was a kind, patient and humble man. I’m extremely grateful that he was my dad. He died at the age of 80 years in 2002. He is gone but never forgotten.”

Alongside Fred’s photo above is a copy of one of Fred’s poems, written and sent home during the time.

Your ‘thank you’ messages

You’ve been sharing your messages of thanks to World War 2 and VJ Day veterans from across the Commonwealth.

Read more veterans’ stories you’ve shared with us