VE Day 75 @ SSAFA

Celebrate 75 years since the end of the war in Europe and support SSAFA, the UK’s oldest national tri-service military charity.

VE Day 75 @ SSAFA

Celebrate 75 years since the end of the war in Europe and support SSAFA, the UK’s oldest national tri-service military charity.

At 3pm on the 8th May we would like to encourage everyone throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man to stand together and raise a glass of the refreshment of their choice and undertake the attached ’Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW II’ in tribute to the millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today.

Warmest regards and please “stay safe”.

- Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster VE Day 75

What is VE Day 75?

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day - the moment that the guns across Europe fell silent and the war with Nazi Germany came to an end. After six years of conflict, which saw losses on the front line and the home front, hostilities officially ended at one minute past midnight on the 8th May 1945. Celebrations erupted all over the nation, and the day has become enshrined in history as VE Day.

In 2020, to honour the sacrifices and to celebrate peace, Friday 8th May 2020 - VE Day - has been made a bank holiday kickstarting a three-day celebration of international, national and local events.

 

How can you get involved?

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, VE Day 75 events have largely been cancelled. 

We are hoping that we can still run most of the planned events for "Victory over Japan" day on the 15 August 2020.  This will still need to be confirmed, and we suggest you check either this website or the VE Day 75 website here, closer to the date.

However, there are a number of ways you can still honour the 'greatest generation' during the lockdown.

The Nation's Toast was intended to be held in pubs up and down the country - now we hope you will raise a glass in celebration of VE Day from the comfort of your own home.  Let your friends and family know that the country will still be honouring our World War 2 heroes at 3pm on Friday 8 May.

The concert at the Royal Albert Hall, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, has been postponed until 20 September.  If you have tickets these will still be valid, and we will still be broadcasting the concert at selected cinemas across the country.

 

It is our duty to keep the events of the past alive in collective memory, including future generations- this is how we ensure that such a conflict never happens again. It is our hope that the nation takes a moment to reflect on the significance of this date, as a milestone that changes the course of history for the whole world.

- Sir Andrew Gregory, Chief Executive, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

 

Photo gallery of SSAFA's war work 1939-1945

We have also prepared an online photo-flipbook, showing SSAFA's work throughout the Second World War, please click on the above link to see it in a new window.  You can also download the images here.


 

If you have any memories of VE Day, either from 1945 itself or any of the subsequent anniversary celebrations, then we would love to hear from you!

Please email bryony.waite@ssafa.org.uk or phone on 07884 865 634 to share your story.