Celebrations announced for 75th VE Day anniversary

The Royal British Legion and the Government are calling for members of the Second World War generation to take part in events celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

A raft of plans have been drawn up to mark the occasion, including a display by the Red Arrows and a Battle of Britain memorial flight above Buckingham Palace.

The Government had already announced that the traditional early May bank holiday will be moved from Monday May 4 to Friday May 8 to celebrate the anniversary.

The RBL is looking for all those who contributed to the war effort, including those who served on the Home Front and in the emergency services, to take part in the events that will celebrate their role.

Veterans Mervyn Kerch, 95, Marzena Schejbal, 95, and Neil Flanigan, 96, with pupils at Sandhurst Primary School in south east London (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)
Veterans Mervyn Kerch, 95, Marzena Schejbal, 95, and Neil Flanigan, 96, with pupils at Sandhurst Primary School in south east London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Applications are also open for Allied Forces, the Commonwealth, descendants and child evacuees to take centre stage at the commemorations in London, including a procession down The Mall.

Veterans are also invited to a service of thanksgiving held at Westminster Abbey while street parties are expected to be held across the country.

Meanwhile St James’s Park will be turned into Victory Park, featuring examples of what life in Britain was like during the war.

VE Day
Young London residents celebrate VE Day (PA)

It has been also confirmed Winston Churchill’s famous victory speech announcing the end of war will be broadcast in public spaces across the country at 3pm.

Victory in Europe (VE) Day on May 8 1945 marked the formal acceptance of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender by Britain and its Allies following almost six years of brutal warfare during the Second World War.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the anniversary “marks a historic moment for our great country to come together and reflect on the heroes of the Second World War.”

Politics – VE Day – London
Clement Attlee (far left) and, next to him, then prime minister Winston Churchill watch a march past (PA)

Other events include a Service of Remembrance and parade in Cardiff and a veterans’ parade and concert in Edinburgh.

Last week the Home Secretary announced that pubs, clubs and cinemas will be able to stay open into the early hours in celebration of VE Day.

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