Veterans meet royals at VJ Day commemoration


Jewish war veterans met the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at the 70th anniversary of VJ Day commemoration in Whitehall at the weekend.

Attending with his wife and son was 93-year-old Jack Freedman, from Sutton, who served in the navy.

"There weren't many Jewish soldiers there because it was on Saturday but I think Go'd will let me off for being there," he said. "It was important to be there to pay my respects.

"It was a magnificent event and I didn't want to miss it for the world.

"We got to speak to Prince Charles and I had a word with him about working on the minesweepers. He told me he had worked on one.

"The Duchess was very nice, too. I talked to her about my nephew, who was her equerry.

"I asked her if she remembered him and she said: 'Tom, yes, of course - what a small world'."

Another ex-navy man, Alan Tyler, 91 said that "as a Jew, I wanted to be there to pay my respect to my Christian colleagues who lost their lives.

"I'm not quite ready to be pushed in a wheelchair so it meant a lot to be able to do the walk [down Whitehall]. It is important to mark these events."

The Finchley resident and Ajex member added that it had been exciting to meet the Prince of Wales.

"I shook hands with him. He went round speaking to as many people as possible."

Members of the public lining the route applauded as the veterans, many waving Union Jacks, marched past. There was a fly-past of historic and currenr military aircraft and wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph.

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