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.
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.
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.