Help commemorate the end of Second World War in Europe (Victory in Europe) with a range of fun activities over the weekend of 8 to 10 May 2020

In a world without a lockdown, the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe would have been a very significant occasion – even the May bank holiday was moved to recognise this.

There would have been large gatherings and street parties to recognise one of the most important days in British history, but now the occasion will have to be marked from afar.

Instead, in line with the latest expert medical and scientific advice from Public Health England and guidance on mass gatherings, the public is being encourage to celebrate VE Day at home #StayHomeSavelives.

East Devon District Council’s Chairman, Cllr Stuart Hughes is fully backing the Government’s message, saying:

I want to encourage everyone to follow social distancing advice and to stay at home and only celebrate with the family or friends that they live with.

I know that for those with a close affinity to the Second World War and remembrance, not being able to mark this hugely significant anniversary will represent a very real hardship.

For our tenants and vulnerable residents, we know that this extended lockdown is a tough challenge and we are doing all we can to stop people feeling isolated. Our housing officers are communicating regularly with our customers in our care to offer all the help that we can.

We’ve also been keeping our customers informed of the government’s advice and the implications of this on the services that we provide.

I should like to invite everyone in East Devon to join in with the Nation’s Toast to the heroes who sacrificed so much to secure the freedom we have today. At 3pm, please stand and raise a glass or cup of refreshment of your choice and make the toast: “For those that gave so much, we thank you.

Explore the ve-vjday.gov.uk website to find out how you can get involved - they’ve got lots of ways everyone can continue to pay tribute to the Second World War generation on VE Day from home, while we #StayHomeSaveLives

There are still lots of ways you can show your support in marking the day on social media and via your digital channels.

Top tips

  • For a venue, on this occasion, nothing beats staying at home this weekend to mark the occasion while complying with social distancing rules.
  • Create bunting and other themed decorations for your home using VE Day artwork.
  • What’s a party without a buffet? There are lots of wonderful recipe ideas online to take you back to the 1940’s.
  • A party isn’t complete without a playlist. The 1940’s was known for big band and jazz – as well as new wave electric guitar thanks to Les Paul in 1941. Look on Spotify for VE Day playlists.
  • Share your Second World War stories, family histories and messages of remembrance on social media using #VEDay75 – join the conversation now!
  • You can discover personal stories and the role your family played in the Second World War on the Ancestry website – they’ve made all their UK historical records free from 4 May to 10 May

 

Historical footnote:

8 May 2020 marks 75 years since VE (Victory in Europe) Day when the Second World War came to an end in Europe. The long anticipated news resulted in spontaneous celebrations breaking out across the nation. A national holiday was declared and people from all walks of life came together to mark the moment.