Saturday, August 15 marks Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day of World War II, 75 years ago in 1945.
Lithgow has made an historic contribution to Australia's war effort. The Small Arms Factory was and is especially important for supplying armaments to our military.
Coal, steel and railway were also high on the list for important wartime requirements. Our town, industries and working people were a likely target.
Immediately after Japan's air attack upon US Pearl Harbour on December 7 in 1941, the Federal Government emplaced two batteries of heavy anti-aircraft guns to defend Lithgow against expected Japanese bombing.
Three and a half years of war from Japan, with major direct attacks in the north and the perceived threat of invasion of Australia, caused all to pull together.
Finally, the Emperor of Japan accepted the Allied demand for unconditional surrender.
Prime Minister Ben Chifley announced to Australians the end of the war against Japan on this day. Especially for Australians, it meant that the Second World War was over. The country broke out in spontaneous rejoicing.
Saturday August, 15 2020 is a significant anniversary to reflect upon Australians who withstood the threat of Japanese invasion.
On this day we pay tribute to those in Lithgow and indeed to all Australians who fought and dedicated their lives to defend our country during perhaps the most critical period in our history.
Lithgow Living History and Light Horse will be presenting a short display of Lithgow in WWII and the important part we played, at the Bowenfels gun emplacements.
There will be demonstrations of how the anti-aircraft guns were worked, from spotting the targets to firing the guns.
People in uniforms of Allied forces will be demonstrating weapons and equipment of the time. The horses will be equipped with the correct military gear.
This commemoration and display will be spread over between 10am until 2pm, with the activity repeated say on the hour, every hour.
As social distancing is a must, only a dozen or so people at a time will be able to enjoy the full display. For the rest of the time there is plenty of space for people to wander through the entire emplacement site.
This will be a Covid-19 safe event with a registered safety plan. It is vitally important that social distancing is observed, so that all of us remain safe and the pandemic does not explode as it did after World War I.
Follow the signs for the only access from Great Western Highway, down Kirkley Street to Tom Lesslie Place.
As there is no sealed access to the emplacements, and the grassed area crosses a drainage line, it is recommended people park on the public road. There is no legal access from Kirkley Street, above the site as it is private property awaiting subdivision.
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