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’. At 3pm on 8th May at Studley’s Four Acres Care Home, Warwickshire, and accompanied by the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Colin Summers, 103 year old Jim Dyer who served as a baker in the Catering Corps during WW2 will undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast’. Three elderly ladies from the Astburymere Care Home, Congleton, Cheshire, all aged 101 this year will be raising their cups of tea to toast the Nations Heroes that afternoon too.

In Killyleagh, Co Down, Northern Ireland, the highlight of the VE Day celebrations on the 8th May will be a street party for all primary schoolchildren in the village, with children will dressing up in period dress for the occasion.

The day will begin at 3pm with Battle’s O’er being played by a Piper in the square of the world famous Killeagh Castle, coinciding with the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW II’ at the Dufferin Arms, and during the evening on Sunday 10th May, the ‘Tribute to the Millions’ will be read out during an interdenominational service, with special music from the Second World War outside St John’s Church of Ireland, overlooking Strangford Lough.

As part of VE Day 75 and the Mayday Run motorcycle rally 20,000 plus Bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts will ride from Locksbottom nr Bromley in Southeast London to Hastings seafront to enable them to offer a toast with a refreshment of their choice at 3pm on the 8th May as part of the VE Day 75 celebrations and undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW II’ as their ‘tribute’ to the millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and can share the freedom we have today. We expect this to be the largest, single gathering of Bikers in the history of celebration and commemoration of any historic anniversary of this kind.

20 players from the Under 14’s Team and families from Biggleswade Rugby Club will be on tour over the VE Celebrations. To honour those that have fallen they will be undertaking the Nations Toast at 3pm on Friday 8th May at Bank Farm Leisure, Horton, Swansea, using a glass of squash in one hand and a rugby ball in the other.

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.

1000 people from the community of Bexhill holding individual cards above their heads which when filmed from the air will form a giant Union Jack flag and at given signal at 3pm on the 8th May, the middle section will turn cards over producing the word PEACE.

Tara Haines from James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston Great Yarmouth will be climbing to the top of Scafell Pike, England, and will raise a glass of refreshment and undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on 8th May, on behalf of the women of the nation. Similar toasts at this time will take place when Louise Henry arrives at the top of Mount Snowdon, Wales, Amanda Roxborough at the top of Slieve Donald, Northern Ireland and Katy Lina Welch accompanied by her two young daughters Tiana Sophie Espresatti and Kaila Emily Espresattie aged 7 and 11 arrive at the top of Ben Nevis Scotland, ensuring the millions of women at home and abroad that undertook and endured so much during WW2 are not forgotten.