VE Day celebrations continue

P07615 Royal visit to East London blitzed sites 9th May 1945 300dpi012

Royal visit to East London to visit blitzed sites, 9th May 1945 (the day after VE Day). Queen Elizabeth, Princesses Elizabeth & Margaret, Mayor Cllr L M Sadler. Image courtesy of William Whiffin photo collection/LBTH Local History Library & Archives

Friday 8 May is VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, which marks the end of World War Two fighting against Nazi Germany and the war in Europe. This year also marks the 75th anniversary.

While many of the pre-planned community events have been postponed or cancelled, the nation can still celebrate in a variety of ways.

We will raise the Union Flag at our Town Hall on Friday. During the day, the nation will join in a toast at 3pm and the BBC will broadcast a message from the Queen at 9pm - the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address 75 years ago.

There are other ways you can safely take part in celebrations from home. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Search for historic images of street parties and the Second World War on our Local History Library and Archives site.
  • You may wish to mark VE Day by researching your family history at ancestry free from home - you just need an Idea Store card to log in.
  • Visit the council website for information about War Memorials in the borough.
  • The Royal British Legion website highlights ways to get involved, including activities like a VE Day livestream at 11.15am, a singalong to Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again at 9pm and a learning pack for children.
  • Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service (THAMES) are encouraging children, families and schools to get involved in a singing challenge and learn a new song every couple of weeks. Lyric sheets and backing tracks will be provided. The first song is the wartime favourite We’ll Meet Again made famous by Vera Lynn.  Full information about the THAMES Summer Singing Challenge can be found on the THAMES website.
  • Pay tribute by taking part in a nation’s toast to the Heroes of the Second World War at 3pm on the 8 May, from the safety of your own home by standing up and raise a glass of refreshment of their choice and undertake the following ‘toast’ – “To those who gave so much, we thank you,” using this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today.

The official VE Day website has many more ideas for commemorating at home including activities for adults and children. 

Posted on Friday 1st May 2020