May 7th 2020


Citizens celebrating VE Day 75 years ago (Credit: Imperial War Museum)

Citizens celebrating VE Day 75 years ago (Credit: Imperial War Museum)

Friday 8th May 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), the day Allied Forces became victorious in Europe in the Second World War.

Every year people around the country come together to remember the stories of those who stood together in a time of national crisis and sacrificed their lives for their country.

Dancing in the streets on VE Day

People dancing on the streets on VE Day (Credit: Imperial War Museum)

VE Day is a day that stayed in the memories of all those who witnessed it, as it marked the end of nearly six years of war, that had cost the lives of millions of people. With homes, cities and families around the world devastated, millions of people rejoiced in the news that Germany had surrendered. In towns and cities across the world, people marked the victory with street parties, dancing and singing. People could now start looking forward to the return of normal life, although there was much work to endure before life returned to as it was, VE day was the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now in the UK’s fight against a new crisis, all planned public VE Day events have been postponed to keep in line with government guidelines on social distancing, but there are many ways of celebrating VE day at home with your family. Some suggestions are listed below:

The National Act of Remembrance – At 11am please join the national act of remembrance by observing a two-minute silence. You can do this in your home or on your doorstep, with neighbours doing likewise.

HM the Queens address to the nation – To mark this historic occasion, Her Majesty the Queen will send a message to the nation at 9pm on BBC One, the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945.

Nottinghamshire County Council have a host of ideas for celebrating VE Day, from music and singing, to craft activities to get everyone involved. They also have the Inspire Picture Archive where you can see some amazing images of how Nottinghamshire celebrated VE day. View more information here

Leicestershire Cathedral are holding a Virtual Service in remembrance of VE Day. The service will be led by the Sub Dean, Revd Alison Adams, and Bishop Martyn. There will be readings from the Lord-Lieutenant, Mike Kapur, and the Deputy Commander of 7 Infantry Brigade, Colonel David Wakefield. To tune in to this online service please visit Leicester Cathedral at 12 noon on 8th May.

The Royal British Legion are hosting a VE Day Singalong, you can watch and join in on BBC One who will be featuring the singalong as part of their VE Day broadcast. You can also leave an online message on the Royal British Legion’s website  to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day and to remember the brave men and women of World War Two.

You can visit English Heritage to explore some of the remarkable stories from this chapter in England’s story, and find out how you can get involved in the commemorations at home.

You can also visit the Imperial War Museums to follow and share their incredible VE Day stories and photos in remembrance.

The Royal Navy are asking members of the public to #ShineALight to mark the 75 years commemorative celebration and share your pictures and videos on social media. At 9.30 pm: The King’s Speech – Naval ships will redirect their searchlights skywards for five minutes. With your phone, torch, or anything that emits light, take to the night sky and shine your light!