Just imagine the day 75 years ago when the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end. Millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, and to hope for a better future – it was a huge party!
This year the 75th anniversary provides the nation with an opportunity to remember the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through these incredibly challenging times. Although the planned celebrations will not take place as originally planned, the UK will still come together on May 8th to celebrate the momentous day. The country will rightly not only remember the members of the Armed Forces and Merchant Navy, but also all the hard-working women and men who operated the factories, mines, shipyards and farms, and ARP wardens, police officers, doctors, nurses, fireman, local defence volunteers, and everyone who worked day and night selflessly on the home front.
Hambleside Danelaw are joining in the celebrations in a couple of different ways:
a. We will be raising money for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for Veterans’ Mental Health;
b. We are creating a “Remember the Day of Celebration” page where we would like you to share any memories your family or friends had of VE Day, and we will post them on the site.
We will be raising money for a great cause – Combat Stress. They are the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. For over a century, they have helped former servicemen and women with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The work they do is life-changing, and often life-saving. Crucially, no one else does what they do, and their work is greatly needed, and ever-increasing. You can find out more about their great work at combatstress.org.uk.
Hambleside Danelaw will be contributing to the charity, and if you would like to contribute to this great cause, we have created a Just giving page just click on the link to head over to our page to make a donation.
We’re collecting stories of VE Day itself – it’s hard to imagine what it was like that day with millions celebrating at home, on the streets of towns and cities across Britain, and at a huge party taking place in London!
Just click here to head over to the page – it’s simple to add the name of the person who you would like to remember. It would be great to hear the stories you have been told from relatives or friends to bring the day to life, and ensure that the memories are captured for ever. If you would like to contribute a memory just click here.
With members of the public unable to attend VE Day 75 events, The Royal British Legion is playing a central role in the delivery of a range of remote activities, including:
• A live VE Day 75 livestream at 11.15am
• National moments of Remembrance and thanksgiving, including a Two Minute Silence
• A UK-wide singalong to Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again at 9pm
• A VE Day learning pack for children aged 7-14 years
• An evening of memories and music in partnership with the BBC from 8pm on BBC One. At the heart of the commemorations will be a special address from Her Majesty The Queen broadcast at 9pm – the exact time her father spoke to the nation three quarters of a century ago.
Find out the full programme list here: BBC VE DAY 75 CELEBRATIONS
To find out all the details of the events, just visit the Royal British Legion’s website: BRITISH LEGION VE DAY 75
At 11am, there will also be a national moment of Remembrance and pause for a Two Minute Silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.
The Royal British Legion have also launched its “Tommy in the Window” campaign, producing clear plastic figures of soldiers, who were known as Tommys in WWII.
They are asking for people to place them in the window to show respect for those who fought for our country. The perspex models are all made by veterans, and more than 2,000 of the 25cm high figures have been purchased so far. Each soldier comes with a special edition number printed on the base, VE day booklet and VE day window sticker. You can raise money for the Royal British Legion buying one – just click the link to find out more RBLI TOMMY FIGURE
However, if you would just like to put your own poster in the window to remember the Tommys, we’ve created one for you here that you can download by clicking here and get the kids to colour in (or yourself!) It’s a great little gesture for you to commemorate VE DAY 75.