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Victory over Japan (V-J) Day and the end of the Second World War

The Second World War ended 75 years ago with the surrender of Japanese forces and the declaration of Victory over Japan (V-J) Day on 15 August 1945. Canada played an important role in this bitter conflict that raged for almost six years.

To mark this significant milestone, you can use the resources below to help the young people in your home learn more about the Canadians who served in Asia and the Pacific during the war.

Formal lesson plans for these activities are also available and can be found in our classroom page

The Defence of Hong Kong

The Defence of Hong Kong was the first time that Canadian soldiers saw major action in the Second World War. Almost 2,000 of our troops set sail for this British colony in Asia in the fall of 1941 and would suffer terrible losses in the fighting there.


Ages 5-7
Remembering Sergeant Gander

Sergeant Gander was a brave Newfoundland dog who was the mascot for a Canadian regiment that fought in Hong Kong.


AGES 8-12
Honouring Sergeant Gander – Battle of Hong Kong

Learn about the sacrifices and achievements made by Canadians in the Battle of Hong Kong, including Sergeant Gander, a brave Newfoundland dog. He received a medal for his bravery helping the soldiers.

Dog Tags

Ages 12-18
Remembrance dog tags – The Defence of Hong Kong

This dog tag activity is designed to help youth at home ”put a face on remembrance.” Canada’s efforts in the Defence of Hong Kong came at a high cost. More than 550 of the 1,975 Canadians who fought there never returned. Taking a few moments to think about a person who died is a way to honour all those who served.

Print out and wear the Hong Kong remembrance dog tags

Valour in the Pacific – Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray, VC

Thousands of Canadian airmen served in Asia and the Pacific during the Second World War. They played a variety of roles, from being radar operators to flying with bomber, transport, reconnaissance and fighter squadrons. Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray was a naval aviator and he would earn the Victoria Cross for his brave actions in the closing days of the Second World War. 

Dot to Dot

Ages 5-7
Victoria Cross dot to dot

Many Canadians received medals for their bravery during the Second World War. The Victoria Cross was the highest award they could receive and 16 of our courageous service members earned one,  including Robert Hampton Gray.


AGES 8-12
Hammy the Hero

Robert Hampton “Hammy” Gray was from British Columbia. Learn more about his great bravery  and sacrifice in the Second World War and how he earned the Victoria Cross medal.

Ages 12-15
Robert Hampton Gray, VC – Hometown Hero Scavenger Hunt

Robert Hampton Gray was Canada’s last Victoria Cross recipient of the Second World War. He was a true hero.

Ages 15-18
Robert Hampton Gray, VC – Fact Quest

Only 16 Canadians earned the Victoria Cross during the Second World War and Robert Hampton Gray was one of them. He was the last Canadian to earn this medal during the conflict and he sadly lost his life less than a week before the war came to an end.

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