A VETERAN has won high-praise from his neighbours after creating a stunning display in his front garden to mark the anniversary of VJ Day.

Rex Farmer, 86, who lives in Oaks Drive, Colchester, was crowned the winner of Oaks Drive Residents Association's best commemorative display competition last month, winning a hamper for his efforts.

He dazzled residents with his garden display which included Union Jack fags, bunting and plant arrangements.

Mr Farmer said: "My preparation for the party took some considerable time and basic planning to put it all together, I purchased some of the flags off of the internet and the Netherlands.

"I am not an expert gardener, I just know a bit. I do it to keep fit and thus stop becoming a cabbage."

Mr Farmer served in the military for 24 years, after being conscripted into the Royal Artillery at the age of 18 back in 1952.

He completed his National Service two-years-later but decided to sign up full time for the Army.

He said: "The rolls I filled during the 24 years are numerous and included promotion from Gunner to Warrant Officer 1 RSM.

"My initial posting was to the 4th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery who were stationed at the Hohne Garrison Germany which is situated between the old Belsen Concentration Camp and Belsen village.

"The 4th Regiment were part of the NATO Forces and supported the infantry regiments who were also stationed in the Hohne Garrison."

He spent six years in the Germany before coming home to Carlisle to help train young soldiers.

Mr Farmer said: "From Carlisle it was back to Germany and getting ready for Malaya."

During his spell in Asia he worked on artillery intelligence, was made second in command of his unit and even sent to Borneo to support the Gurkhas.

Mr Farmer said celebrating the anniversary of VJ, or Victory over Japan Day, was extremely important.

He said: "It never receives the full appreciation that it should. Basically it concluded the end of the Second World War in all respects.

"It must and should be celebrated every 25 years."