8th May marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus situation, all major public commemoration events have had to be cancelled.
The Welsh Government is working closely with the UK Government, the other Devolved Administrations and partners such as the Royal British Legion and Armed Services in Wales to ensure that our veterans who played a part in the Second World War – whether on the battle field or the home front – are remembered and receive our thanks in a way that takes account of the current restrictions.
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.
You can also mark VE Day by discovering your own connection to the Second World War. 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.
What’s happening on the day itself?
- The First Minister will be broadcasting a message on social media as well as taking part in a video chat with veterans. You can show your support and share your memories using the hashtags #VEDay75 #DiwrnodVE75.
- 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.
There is information and guidance on how the occasion can be marked safely at home at https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/. This includes activities and games for children, along with ideas about holding a 1940s themed tea party – with original recipes and music from the day.