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PM unveils plans to mark 75 years since VE Day

  • Hundreds of veterans will take part in commemorations across the UK to mark 75 years since VE Day
  • Churchill’s famous victory speech will be broadcast across the country
  • The Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will perform a fly past over Buckingham Palace
  • Veterans encouraged to register for The Royal British Legion’s programme of events

On 8 May a day-long series of events will take place across the UK to commemorate the Allied Victory in Europe and give thanks to the Second World War generation and the sacrifices they made securing peace across the continent.

The Prime Minister is also backing The Royal British Legion’s search for those from the Second World War generation who will take centre stage at the commemorations in London, culminating in a procession down the Mall. Applications are now open for veterans from the UK, Allied Forces and the Commonwealth, descendants, child evacuees and 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 and give thanks for their role.

Other events include a Service of Remembrance and parade in Cardiff, a Veterans’ parade and concert in Edinburgh, and the opportunity for street parties to take place in cities, towns and villages across the country, recreating the national outpouring of thanksgiving that took place 75 years ago.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The 75th anniversary of VE Day marks a historic moment for our great country to come together and reflect on the heroes of the Second World War.

No one will ever forget what they sacrificed in defending our freedom and securing peace across Europe, and we will continue to honour those who contributed at home and abroad.

This programme of events gives the whole nation a chance to thank all those involved for everything they did – both for those alive today, and for future generations.

And by commemorating these moments, we can remember and remind ourselves of the fragility of peace, and the need for us all to collectively uphold this.

Commemorations will begin at Westminster Abbey with a Service of Thanksgiving attended by hundreds of veterans and representatives of the Second World War generation.

At 3pm, an extract from Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech will be broadcast in public spaces across the UK recreating the iconic moment the Prime Minister announced the end of the war. This will be part of Imperial War Museums’ Voices of War, which includes a series of personal testimonies of people who experienced VE Day taken from the museums’ sound archive.

Second World War veterans and individuals that contributed to the war effort will then take part in a procession down the Mall. Events will conclude in a fly past that will include the Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and other modern aircraft, followed by a tea party for veterans in St James’s Park.

Throughout the weekend, part of St James’s Park will be turned into ‘Victory Park’ where veterans and the public can experience themed events based on life in the UK during the Second World War. A nearby ‘Military Village,’ also situated in St James’s Park, will provide an opportunity for the public to meet serving military personnel who will be there with a display of modern military equipment.