Revised plans to mark 75th anniversary of VE day revealed

Clwyd West AM and Chair of the Assembly Cross Party Group on the Armed Forces and Cadets, Darren Millar, has welcomed the First Minister’s announcement today of revised plans to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day next week.

With all public events to mark the occasion cancelled, in recent weeks Darren has repeatedly called on the Welsh Government to ensure that the special anniversary is not forgotten amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He is therefore pleased that today alternative plans to mark the occasion have been unveiled and can be found at https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/.

He said:

“With just over a week to go until this special anniversary, I am delighted that plans have finally been revealed and people will be able to mark the occasion in line with current social distancing guidelines from the safety of their own homes.

“The suggestions and guidance include activities and games for children, along with ideas about holding a 1940s themed tea party – with original recipes and music from the day.

“Digital communications, which are playing such a vital role in helping us stay connected at this time, will also be a key part of our commemorations and the First Minister will be broadcasting a message on social media as well as taking part in a video chat with veterans, and is encouraging everyone to send their own message of support and share memories via social media channels – using the hashtags  #VEDay75 #DiwrnodVE75.

“In the lead up to 8 May, historian and broadcaster Dan Snow will host history lessons for children from Monday 4 May. At 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Dan will host a History Hit live on YouTube’s Timeline channel that will focus on a different aspect of the Second World War and aim to teach the public about the importance of VE Day. 

“People can also mark VE Day by discovering their own connection to the Second World  War. As part of this, all UK historical records available on ancestry.co.uk will be free for the public from Monday 4 May until Sunday 10 May, giving people the opportunity to uncover the personal stories of the Second World War and the roles their families played.”

Darren added:

“Given the importance of this anniversary I would encourage everyone to get involved in all that is going on May 8th to commemorate it. We may not be able to have the grand parades and services that were originally planned, but we can all still unite to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.”

Activities which have been organised at the UK level include: 

  • At 11am commemorations will begin with a moment of remembrance, marked with a two minute silence.
  • At 3pm, Sir Winston Churchill’s 1945 speech to the nation will be broadcast on the BBC as part of special programmes planned for the day.
  • At 9pm, HM The Queen will broadcast a message to the nation on the BBC – at the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945.  
  • This will be followed by an opportunity for people to gather on their doorsteps and sing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ in an act of celebration.