A weekend to remember in London for VE Day 70

May 7, 2015   //   No Comments

Friday 8 May 2015 is the anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day), marking 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Three days of events in London and across the UK will mark the historic anniversary of end of the Second World War in Europe, including beacon-lighting events, parades, and street parties.  There are lots of ways people can take part in the national events over VE Day weekend, 8-10 May:

Friday 8 May – VE Day

At 3pm a Service of Remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph, coinciding with a national two-minute silence, to be televised on BBC One.  This will mark the moment Winston Churchill broadcast his historic speech formally announcing the end of the war.  Members of the public are invited to mark the two-minute silence wherever they are.

Saturday 9 May

In the evening, thousands of people will attend a Royal British Legion concert produced by Live Nation and the BBC.  The star-studded 1940s themed ‘Party to Remember’ will be held at Horse Guards Parade Ground.  Broadcast on BBC One, the event will feature performances from acts including Status Quo, Pixie Lott and Katherine Jenkins.

Sunday 10 May

On Sunday 10 May there will be a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, attended by Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, members of The Royal Family, and up to 1,000 veterans and their families. Representatives of Allied Nations and Commonwealth countries who fought alongside Britain in the conflict will also attend.

Members of the public are invited to line Parliament Square and Whitehall to see the VE Day parade after the service, which will include members of the Armed Forces, veterans and bands. There will also be seating for the general public in stands overlooking Horse Guards Parade, where they will be able to watch the morning’s service at Westminster Abbey from big screens, and the parade of members of the Armed Forces and veterans as they finish their journey from Whitehall. 3,000 seats will be available on a first come first served basis on the morning, via Horse Guards Road. However, if you are unable to get a seat in the stands, you will be able to view all the colour and spectacle of the parade in the streets in Whitehall and Parliament Square.Entry will be subject to the necessary security checks. If you would like to attend do not bring large bags where possible.

During the parade, there will be a flypast over Central London of the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the world-famous Red Arrows.

Throughout the weekend (8-10 May)

In 1945 Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament were floodlit and beginning on the Friday they will be lit up again with special V-shaped lights. It will be possible to see the lights on Friday from 9.30pm to midnight and on Saturday and Sunday from 8.30pm – midnight.Public transport will be the best way to get to the events, although stations in the surrounding area (Embankment, Victoria, St James’s Park, Westminster and Charing Cross) are likely to be busier than usual. People travelling to the VE Day 70 anniversary events, or around the areas of the events, are encouraged to check before they travel at tfl.gov.uk/weekend-travel and nationalrail.co.uk/may.

Find a SAIF Member