Friday 8 May marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day – the official end of the Second World War in Europe, and we want everyone to be able to commemorate this special day safely.
In 1945, the long anticipated news that the Second World War had come to an end in Europe resulted in celebrations breaking out across the nation.
Unfortunately, due to the current Covid-19 crisis, families and communities across the nation will be unable to celebrate this 75th anniversary in quite the same way.
We may not be able to have the public celebrations many people planned, but we can still remember the heroes of WWII.
We have put together a range of ideas on this page, together with links to broadcasts, information and resources that can help you make the most of this special day and pay tribute to those men and women who sacrificed so much for us.
Please continue to observe government advice: stay home, stay safe, and protect our NHS. Celebrate in your own home, or back garden if you have one, but please do not be tempted to visit relatives or friends
VE Day in your home
- Use this dedicated toolkit for resources and branding for your activity, including messages or remembrance and thanks for the WW2 generation, with celebrations at home. This includes bunting and posters you can print and display in our home and windows to show you’re marking the day.
- Plan your party using this guide for ideas on how you can celebrate VE Day at home, with music and recipes, including Prue Leith’s Muscovado Flapjacks.
- Use English Heritage’s pack to help you put together your own celebrations to mark the #VEDay75 from home
- Remember to observe social distancing and only celebrate in person with those who you live with
Tell us what you’re doing!
The VE-VJ Day 75 toolkit has templates, including thank you cards to place in your windows and colouring-in posters.
Have a look at these instructions from English Heritage or see some great videos on the internet of the professionals in action.
Have a singalong
There’s a national signalong of Vera Lynn’s We’ll meet again at 9pm. You can watch and join in on BBC One. The Royal British Legion have provided the lyrics on their website.
This is a good opportunity to get creative in the kitchen! From spam hash, or homity pie to eggless fruit cake, we could certainly be innovative! What dishes do your family remember from that time, and have any become family favourites that you’re still cooking today?
Ways to commemorate
- Pause for a Two Minute Silence at 11am and watch stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War
- Join ‘The Nation’s Toast’ at 3pm – raise a glass with the nation to the heroes of WWII (broadcast starts at 2.45pm on BBC1)
- Watch further VE Day 75 special broadcasts on the BBC, including extracts from Churchill’s famous victory speech and Her Majesty The Queen addressing the nation at 9pm
World War II history
Historian Dan Snow has set a VE Day challenge for young people and members of the public on a dedicated website
Dan will also host a daily history lesson on different aspects of the Second World War live on YouTube for children from Monday 4 May at 11am each morning on his History Hit YouTube channel.
Online resources to discover your local and family Second World War histories and connections:
- The Royal British Legion’s Teaching Remembrance covers a range of Remembrance topics, with resources designed for Key Stages 2-4.
- BBC Resources for KS2: VE Day
- BBC resources for KS4 WW2: How did the British plan to celebrate VE Day?
- Imperial War Museums’ KS2 History VE Day video
- UK Parliament during WWII – its role, the decisions made and the laws passed for primary and secondary pupils.
- Plan your VE Day party, including songs and playlist
- How to get involved with celebrations
- Bletchley Park activity pack
- VE Day 75 bunting and posters to print and colour
- English Heritage at home pack, including recipes, dance steps, popular songs, 9 things you should know about VE Day and VE Day in pictures
- Royal British Legion singalong, learning pack, livestream and leave your own message