VE75 & VJ75 Commemorative Initiatives

VE Day and VJ Day

75th anniversaries

The 75th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day will fall in May and August 2020 respectively. The nation will be marking these important dates, with high profile events.

2020 May Bank Holiday will be moved from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75 anniversary of VE Day and enable people to pay tribute to those who served in one of the most significant events in our country’s history,

Only the second time ever that the Early May Bank Holiday has been moved – the first was in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.

The occasion will remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces personnel; those who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the Home Front. As well as marking the Allies’ victory in 1945, the bank holiday will serve as an opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in the UK Armed Forces and their families.

Commemorative events will take place over the three-day weekend across the country, including:

  • The Nation’s Toast, where over 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons to raise a glass to the Heroes of World War II;
  • Bagpipers playing the traditional Battle’s O’er at the top of the four highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland;
  • Bells in churches and cathedrals across the country joining forces in a special Ringing Out for Peace; and
  • Local street parties and celebrations across the three-day weekend.

The Nation’s Toast now has a well-developed website, with downloadable material and ‘Tips for Taking Part’.

Events taking place in Devon

The City of Exeter is marking the 75th Anniversary of VE with a street party which will take place down the length of the High Street. Both residents & visitors to the City will be welcome to come along and join in with the celebrations. There will be a Veteran Reception in the Guildhall where some WW2 veterans and their families will be hosted by the Lord Mayor and other Civic Dignitaries. There will be live music and entertainment in Bedford & Princesshay Square.

On the Cathedral Green will be a military and community village in partnership with CTCRM, Royal Marines and the Battalion of the Sixth, showcasing a vast array of activities for young & old.

There will be a 2 minute silence at 11am lead by the Lord Mayor from the Guildhall Balcony and shown on a relay screen further up the High Street. Steve Knightley, from Show of Hands will be singing two songs and then the Lord Mayor will officially open the Street Party. At 3pm the Lord Mayor will do the Hero’s Toast followed by singing of the National Anthem.

City of Plymouth are planning VE Day 75th Anniversary Celebrations on the Hoe between 8th and 10th May 

Brixham Future CIC are planning various celebrations on 8th, 9th and 10th May.  A formal open air parade and service will take place on Friday 8th May. On 10th May a formal thanksgiving service will take place at All Saints Church at 11.00am.  For all other events planned please click in Brixham Future CIC

Teignmouth Town Council are planning various events on 8th and 9th May.  A parade on Saturday 9th May on the Den led by the City of Plymouth Pipe Band.  Other activities and entertainment will include a WW2 themed singer, craft workshop, climbing wall and performances by local choirs. 

The Royal British Legion will be commemorating/celebrating VJ and VE Day on Saturday 18th July. With a parade down Exeter High Street with Salute at Guildhall.  Devon’s Youth Remembers Burma Veterans.  We Hope to have all Cadet services/bands/ Standard Bearers and Burma veterans/  11.00 am followed by a short service on the Cathedral Green.

Royal British Legion Tiverton Branch are planning a parade on 8th May for VE day. A further event will be held on 15th August for VJ Day.

Royal British Legion Paignton Branch are planning a parade on 8th May for VE Day. A further event will be held on 15th August for VJ Day 

Exmouth Royal British Legion are planning on holding a service of commemoration to mark the end of WW2 at 10.15  at the War Memorial on the Strand.