Programme

You and your organisation can take part in one or more of the following VE Day 75 events by clicking the register link at the top of the page and entering your details. You will receive an automated acknowledgement by email and your entry will be added to the listing on the appropriate page of the website.

The email you provide will be used to update you on the VE Day events only and will not be shared with third party organisations.

Here is the programme for VE Day 75.

Friday 8th May 2020

2.55pm – The Last Post is played at the Four Peaks five other locations of the United Kingdom

Individual members of the Air Training Corps, Army Cadets, Sea Cadets and the Combined Cadet Force will play the Last Post at the top of the four highest peaks in the UK, a feat never undertaken before. We were keen to see young people playing a leading role in the VE Day celebrations and were delighted when these organisations agreed to take part.

The Last Post will also be played at five of the most widespread locations of the UK – Land’s End, Cornwall; Lowestoft, Suffolk; St David’s, Pembrokeshire, Wales; the Scottish island of Unst, and Enniskillen Castle, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, and the Tan Hill Inn, Richmond, North Yorkshire.

3.00pm – The Playing of Battle’s O’er and and VE 75 Years

Thousands of pipers around the world will play Battle’s O’er, a traditional air performed on the bagpipes at the end of a battle, and the specially composed tune VE 75 Years. It was at 3pm on 8th May 1945 that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that the war was over. You can take part by clicking on the register link at the top of the page and entering your details.

Individual pipers will play this haunting air at the top of the four highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis, Scotland; Scafell Pike, England; Mount Snowdon, Wales, and Slieve Donnard, Northern Ireland.

At the same time, thousands of other pipers will perform it at locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and in countries such as Australia, Canada, the USA, Germany, South Africa, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain and Denmark. The tune will be played outside churches and cathedrals, in market squares and on high streets, in valleys, on town and village greens, in schools and colleges, in hospitals, on ships and in shops, hospitals, factories and offices. Pipers will briefly halt their working day to pay this tribute and to reflect.

Josef McCauley, Phoebe Cole and Sashka lbramovna, three students from Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, Norfolk – the only academy in East Anglia to offer bagpipe lessons – will be among those taking part. With the support of head teacher Barry Smith, they are being taught to play the pipes by Lady Jane MacRae, a member of Clan Hay Pipe Bandand a piper with the City of Norwich Pipe Band, and Tom Foster, of the Great Yarmouth Pipe Band. Clan Hay, with the support of their Pipe Major and Chief, the Earl of Erroll, was the first clan in the world to confirm its participation and will play in locations around the world. Clan Hay is the only clan in the world with its own pipe band.

3.00pm – The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War 2

To coincide with the playing of Battle’s O’er, and in association with the British Beer and Pub Association and its members, thousands of pubs throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be asking their customers to raise a glass at 3pm and take part in The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War 2, a copy of which can be downloaded here. It will be a chance for the customers of more than 20,000 UK pubs to remember the sacrifice of those who died or were wounded.

You can take part by clicking on the register link at the top of the page and entering your pub’s details.

6.55pm (Local Time)– A Cry for Peace Around the World

Town criers and other people around the world will be undertaking a special international Cry for Peace Around the World in all manner of locations, starting off in New Zealand. You don’t have to be a town crier to take part. A copy of the text can be downloaded here so that you can perform the cry at your workplace, school, community group, church. Indeed, anywhere you choose to make the message heard.

The many thousands of pubs throughout the United Kingdom will be encouraged to ring their pub bells and invite a member of their local community to undertake the Cry for Peace Around the World at this time too.

7.00pm – Ringing out for Peace

In association with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, bells in cathedrals, churches and other locations will ring out at 7pm in a collective celebration of peace. The sound of bells is deeply rooted in British culture, providing the soundtrack to historic moments – calling us to pray, to work, to arms, to celebrate and, in times of crisis, to come together.

Church bells will be rung throughout our nation and around the world in celebration of the peace and friendships we share today.

To take part click on the register link at the top of the page and enter your details.

7.00pm  onwards – Parties and Celebration

In association with the National Association of Local Councils and One Voice Wales, town and parish councils and local communities are being encouraged to organise celebrations and parties in streets and neighbourhoods, on town and village greens, and in pubs, clubs and hotels.

It’s a chance to bring communities together in common friendship. Towns and cities twinned with those overseas may consider inviting them to join in the celebrations, providing an opportunity to reinforce international bonds and reflect on the importance of peace on the occasion of this important anniversary.

Celebrations could take many forms. From street parties with a 1940s theme to barbecues and fireworks displays. Whatever you plan, let us know by clicking the register link at the top of the page and providing your details.

Saturday 9th May 2020

Enjoy a whole day of celebrations and parties. The weekend offers the chance to organise something really special to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

We’re expecting parties galore in streets, neighbourhoods, schools and village halls, perhaps with food and dress reflecting the 1940s. Wartime loaf, eggless sponge cake, vegetable turnovers, curried carrots and Lord Woolton pie. And don’t forget the Spam!

Let us know what you’re planning on Saturday by clicking the register link at the top of the page and entering your details.

SUNDAY 10TH MAY 2020

10.30am – Church Services of Celebration and Commemoration

Services will take place in cathedrals and churches throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man in celebration of the peace we share today. We will remember those who lost their lives or returned home dreadfully wounded and pay tribute to those who put their lives on hold at home to keep the nation fed and the factories, mines and hospitals working, many of them not knowing if their loved ones would return home safely.

Those planning services are encouraged to ask the Dean, Lord Mayor, Mayor, Lord Lieutenant, High Steward, Sheriff or other dignitary from their local community to read out the Tribute to the Millions, which can be downloaded here.

You might also consider inviting a bugler or trumpeter from the local Air Training Corps, Army Cadets, Sea Cadets, Combined Cadet Force, Boys’ Brigade, Scouts, Salvation Army or brass band to play the Last Post and Reveille during their service.

To take part click on the register link at the top of the page and enter the details of your service.