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James Goldie Prentice

This information was provided by James' daughter, Christine.

My father, James Goldie Prentice, was a sergeant major in the Gordon Highlanders during the war. He spent several years in Burma commanding tanks.

During the lead-up to the VJ celebrations in London, there was an attempt to find the person who fired the last shot of the second world war. Although it was impossible to say definitively, it was decided that my father probably had the best claim. He was chasing Japanese forces out of Burma six days after the war was over. The army had to bring in high level Japanese commanders from Singapore to convince the Japanese troops that the war was over.

In any case, he was invited to the VJ celebrations at Westminster Abbey, and he has toured Japan at the invitation of the Japanese as a goodwill gesture. The whole thing is more amazing in that he was mending from some injuries in Rangoon as the war was ending and hitch-hiked his way back to the front on an American plane because he was determined that none of his men should be killed in the last days of the war - and he didn't trust them to anyone else!

You can tell I'm proud of him - he's a fascinating man!

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