In Warhistory

The 8th of May 2020 marks 75 years since the momentous day in 1945 when the Allies accepted the German army’s unconditional surrender after five years of brutal conflict. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Winston Churchill little over a week after Nazi leader Adolf Hitler committed suicide.

When the guns finally fell silent, millions took to the streets to celebrate, including princesses Elizabeth (who would go on to become Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch) and her sister Margaret. The young princesses were allowed to leave Buckingham Palace and celebrate amongst the crowds, although they had to do so in secret!

To mark the anniversary in 2020 the early May Day Bank Holiday has been moved from a Monday to be celebrated on Friday 8th May in what was to have been part of a three-day long weekend of commemorative events to remember those who gave their lives for the freedom that we continue to enjoy today. At 7pm on that day Cathedrals and Churches were to take part in a Ringing Out of Peace to celebrate continued peace and friendship. 

Sadly, due to the coronavirus outbreak, many of the events planned for the day will now be unable to take place, however people are encouraged to take part in the National Toast to the heroes of WWII from their own homes. At 3pm on the day, stand and raise a glass with the toast "To those who gave so much, we thank you".

Although there was much to celebrate, VE day did not quite mark the end of the conflict - it was finally declared over on August 15th 1945 when the Allies officially defeated Japan after atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, taking the lives of tens of thousands people, the toll reportedly reaching over 200,000 in the days and months that followed.

More information can be found about the importance of VE Day here:




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