The Royal British Legion Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Stevenston branch marked the 78th anniversary of the official end of World War Two.

Members gathered at the Saltcoats War Memorial for a ceremony to remember those who fell, their families and all who suffered for our freedom.

The day marked the anniversary of the Japanese surrender to Allied forces on August 15, 1945.

As Europe celebrated the surrender of German forces on VE Day in May 1945, thousands of British, Commonwealth and Allied Armed Forces personnel were still involved in bitter fighting in the Far East. 

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The Legion gather on VJ Day

On July 26, 1945 the US, Britain, and the Allies issued an ultimatum to Japan, demanding the unconditional surrender of Japanese forces or face “prompt and utter destruction”. But the Japanese government ignored the ultimatum and the deadline passed and the war continued.

Due to Japan's refusal to end the war, and with Allied consent, the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities. One fell on Hiroshima – a city of industrial and military significance - on August 6 and one on Nagasaki – a large seaport - on August 9. On the same day that the bomb fell on Nagasaki the Soviet Union also launched an attack on Japanese territories in Manchuria, having only declared war on Japan the day before.

More than 200,000 people were killed by the bombs and in the months after due to radiation sickness, the effects of burns and other serious injuries.

Six days after the bombs fell Japan announced its surrender on August 15, 1945 which in effect ended the Second World War.

A Legion spokesperson said: "Seventy-eight years on, we are remembering the contribution of all British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces, without whom victory and the freedoms and way of life we enjoy today would have not been possible."