Dawn piper to start New Milton’s VJ Day 75th commemorations

VJ Day new milton
John Adams (right) will play at 5.57am near the war memorial

THE sounds of a piper will see in the dawn in New Milton tomorrow (Saturday) as commemorations get under way for the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.


Joining thousands of other members of the Royal College of Piping across the world, John Adams will play The Battle’s O’er near the town’s war memorial at 5.57am when the sun rises over the recreation ground, off Old Milton Road.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual and socially distanced events will remember the surrender of Japan on 15th August 1945 which officially marked the end of the Second World War.

John, from Bashley, told the A&T: “It is indeed an honour and it’s just a small token of the feeling we have on this day.

“We’ve had lockdown recently, but you can almost feel the relief that they must have felt 75 years ago at the end of World War 2.”

A piper for about 30 years, John has played with the Territorial Army and, although he has not seen active service, he was in the Army Reserve.

His family also has a history of military service, including his uncle Idris Barwick who was a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps when he became one of thousands of young British soldiers captured by the Japanese in Singapore in 1942.

A short service and wreath-laying ceremony will also take place at the war memorial outside St Mary’s Church in Romsey Road, Copythorne, from 11am when social distancing will be observed.

Led by the Rev. John Reeve, it will feature a two-minute silence with contributions from Copythorne and District Royal British Legion members.

A special concert for the VJ Day anniversary will also be released online by Hampshire County Council’s music service.

Performed remotely, it includes a medley of familiar tunes including Colonel Bogey, which featured in the film Bridge on the River Kwai and Welsh lullaby Suo Gan from Empire of the Sun.

White Cliffs of Dover also features as a tribute to forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn who died in June aged 103.

Cllr Andrew Joy, HCC’s cabinet member for communities, partnerships and external affairs, said: “I’m really proud of what these talented young musicians have been able to accomplish virtually, to mark such a poignant day.”

The full performance will be shared on HCC’s social media channels tomorrow. Follow

A preview can be seen at youtu.be/Xv6F-6gDI70

For more information about national VJ Day commemorations and how to get involved visit ve-vjday75.gov.uk