“Some of the other prisoners tried to escape but they were caught. Their heads were chopped off in front of us so we would not think about doing the same thing.”
Syd Tavender, 93, from Cheltenham, still has nightmares about his experience as a Japanese prisoner of war (PoW) during World War II.
By 15 August 1945 – the date Japan formally surrendered – 90,332 Britons had been killed, taken prisoner, wounded or were classified “missing, presumed dead”.
Sixty-five years later, Mr Tavender will be among the thousands gathered across the UK marking the day World War II was officially recognised to be over.
Events taking place include remembrance ceremonies at the Cenotaph in London and the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.