Plans for 75th anniversary of VE Day announced

Plans for the 75th anniversary of VE Day have been announced by the UK government. Events include a ‘Victory Park’ at St James’s Park in London and Churchill’s famous victory speech being broadcast across the country.

*This event has now been postponed due to the the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It is hoped that all events can be moved to the weekend of 15 – 16 August to celebrate VE Day and VJ Day. Find out more here.*

VE Day 75th Anniversary

When is the 75th anniversary of VE Day?

The 75th anniversary of VE Day will take place on 8 May 2020. And to mark the occasion, a day-long series of events will take place across the UK, commemorating the Allied Victory in Europe and giving thanks to the World War 2 generation and the sacrifices they made securing peace across the continent.

As part of the VE 75 celebrations:

  • hundreds of veterans will take part in commemorations across the UK to mark 75 years since VE Day
  • Churchill’s famous victory speech will be broadcast across the country
  • the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will perform a fly past over Buckingham Palace
  • veterans are encouraged to register for The Royal British Legion’s programme of events

Last year it was announced that the early May Bank Holiday would be moved to Friday 8 May. In addition to a Bank Holiday, pub licensing hours will also be extended until 1am on both Friday 8 May and Saturday 9 May 2020.

What events will be taking place on the 75th anniversary of VE Day?

Commemorations Friday 8 May will begin at Westminster Abbey with a Service of Thanksgiving attended by hundreds of veterans and representatives of the WW2 generation. Then at 3pm, an extract from Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech will be broadcast in public spaces across the UK recreating the iconic moment the Prime Minister announced the end of the war. Events will conclude in a fly past that will include the Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, part of St James’s Park in London will be turned into ‘Victory Park’ where veterans and the public can experience themed events based on life in the UK during WW2. A nearby ‘Military Village,’ also situated in St James’s Park, will provide an opportunity for the public to meet serving military personnel who will be there with a display of modern military equipment.

Other VE 75 events include:

  • a Service of Remembrance and parade in Cardiff
  • a Veterans’ parade and concert in Edinburgh
  • the opportunity for street parties to take place in cities, towns and villages across the country

Can I take part in the 75th anniversary of VE Day celebrations?

The Royal British Legion are searching for those from the WW2 generation to take centre stage at the commemorations in London, culminating in a procession down the Mall.

The Royal British Legion plan to host 750 people from the WW2 generation from across the UK, each accompanied by a nominated companion, to attend the VE 75 events programme in Central London. Invites includes a fully funded plan for transport, meals and accommodation.

Applications are now open for:

  • veterans from the UK, Allied Forces and the Commonwealth
  • child evacuees
  • all those who contributed to the war effort, including those who served on the Home Front and in the emergency services

See also

Military veterans to receive new railcard on Armistice Day

New MOD veterans ID card rolled out to service leavers

Find out more

VE Day (The Royal British Legion)

Publication date: 25 February 2020