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VE Day 75 Logo

When VE Day dawns on 8th May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved – ones and to hope for the future, but not forgetting those still in conflict until 15th August when it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.

The 75th anniversary will provide our nation, and our friends around the world, with an opportunity to reflect on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark and terrifying period. To commemorate this important time we are organising VE Day 75, a three-day international celebration that will take place from 8th May to 10th May 2020.

It will be an opportunity for us all to remember the enormous sacrifices that were made at home and abroad and to joyously celebrate as people did 75 years ago, the arrival of peace in Europe.

Bruno Peek Pageantmaster
Under The Red Duster

We will remember the members of the Armed Forces and Merchant Navy from many countries who gave their lives or returned home injured in body and mind, 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 others who toiled day and night selflessly on the home front during difficult frightening and uncertain times.

Friday 8th May 2020, has been designated by the Government as a Bank Holiday, with licensing hours extended to enable as many towns, parishes, district, community and other councils, along with individuals, voluntary organisations, the holiday and hospitality industry including pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels etc, to join in the VE Day 75 celebrations, so we do hope that you will take part over the VE Day weekend of the 8th – 10th May 2020, providing you with the opportunity to pay your personal tribute to those millions at home and abroad who gave so much to ensure we all enjoy the freedom we share today.

 

We are already starting to receive various activities from all over the UK and other countries around the world in this anniversary, and for example, Marion and Alistair Walker will pay their personal tribute to the community of Pembrokeshire, Wales, aboard their beautifully restored 1944 RAF Air Sea Rescue Launch over the VE Day weekend. At 2.55pm on the 8th may a local bugler will play the Last Post and Reville from the deck of their launch at the Milford Haven Pontoon on the Cleddau River.

At 3pm that afternoon a lone piper will play the traditional tune Battle’s O’er and VE 75 Years, a new tune written for the Anniversary. A number of WW II veterans will raise a glass to undertake the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW II, coinciding with the toast taking place from the magnificent Dover Castle, Kent, on the world famous white cliffs overlooking the channel, and led by the Chairman of Dover District Council, will lead the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW II’ with 75 dignitaries, joining the tribute to all those that left our shores and gave so much, along with those that stayed at home to keep the ‘home fires burning’.

Stuart and Daphne King from Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, will be travelling to the Sandbostel WW2 memorial (also the memorial for Camp Marla and Milag) near Hamburg, Germany. They will both raise a glass of refreshment and undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW II,’ in loving memory and tribute to Stuart’s father George Arthur King (from the rows of Great Yarmouth) who served on HMS Bedouin (Tribal Class Destroyer).

George’s ship was torpedoed and sunk but he survived the cruel seas for 8 hours. After being rescued he was a POW for 3 years in Italy / Poland (Lamsdorf / Lambinowice) and finally Sandboste (Marla / Milag) near Hamburg. Like many POW’s, he endured terrible sufferings and had to witness terrible things to secure peace for Europe.