Nation to mark VE Day anniversary this Friday

VE DayTHE Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion has updated timings for its ‘stay at home’ VE Day celebrations to tie in with national events. 

A full programme of events to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day was scheduled to take place in Lyme Regis this weekend, but this has now been postponed until September due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion is, however, encouraging residents to celebrate the anniversary at their own homes, by holding a ‘stay at home garden party’ on Friday, May 8.

Timings and details for the event have now been changed slightly from those previously advertised, to tie in with national celebrations.

Residents are being asked to decorate their gardens in red, white and blue and host their stay at home parties between 2pm and 4pm. A set playlist of music will be played during this time via sound systems across the town.

As part of the national commemorations, the two-minute’s silence will now be held at 11am and a mass singing of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ will be held after an address from the Queen at 9pm.

You can also join ‘The Nation’s Toast’ at 3pm – raising a glass with the nation to the heroes of WWII (broadcast starts at 2.45pm on BBC1).

The chairman of the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion, Ian Marshall, will be laying a wreath at the town war memorial on his own to mark VE Day.

Uplyme will also be holding its own celebrations for the VE Day anniversary with Uplyme Stores hosting a children’s baking competition to mark the occasion.

Entrants are asked to make up to six small cakes or sweets and bring them to the store on a paper plate, marked with your name and contact details, on Thursday, May 7 or Friday, May 8 where they will then be sold to raise funds for the Royal British Legion and NHS Charities.

A winner will be announced at 4pm on the Friday.

Those taking part in all celebrations are asked to respect government guidelines by only having parties with members of your own household, and sticking to social distancing rules with neighbours.

Councillor Pauline Batstone, chairman of Dorset Council, said: “We want everyone to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day safely. We may not be able to have the public celebrations many people planned, but we can still remember the heroes of WWII.

“Celebrate in your own home, or back garden if you have one, but please do not be tempted to visit relatives or friends.

“We hope to be able to celebrate VE Day properly when precautions allow, but for now please continue to observe government advice: stay home, stay safe, and protect our NHS.

“We also look forward to the time when we can to get together to commemorate VJ Day, especially marking the end of the 2nd Battalion of Dorset’s involvement in the conflict in Burma.”

Sam Crowe, director of Public Health for Dorset Council, added: “We know with celebrations like a Bank Holiday, it’s even harder not to be able to see friends and family. We want to thank everyone for all they are doing to help us stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The threat of the virus is still very real in Dorset, but by staying at home and following social distancing guidelines we can limit the impact it will have.”

Dorset Police Chief Constable James Vaughan commented: “We know many people across Dorset will wish to mark this very special day and although we may not be able to hold street parties, we will have to come up with innovative ways of remembering the heroes of World War II.

“Please continue to observe government advice on social distancing and stay at home.”

While ‘Victory in Europe’ or VE Day marks the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces, the war in the east did not end until August 15 1945, when Japan surrendered.

The day was celebrated across the world as ‘Victory over Japan’ or VJ Day and is also expected to be marked with commemorations later this year.

LymeOnline intends to give full coverage to VE day celebrations in the local area, so please send in photos and videos of your stay at home parties and events to edit@lyme-online.co.uk

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About Francesca Evans 2537 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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