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Church bells ring to mark VE Day

Published 09/05/2015

Pixie Lott will be among those performing at a VE Day concert
Pixie Lott will be among those performing at a VE Day concert

Church bells rang out around Britain today as events to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day continue.

At 11am cathedrals and churches across the country sounded their bells in a sign of victory, signifying the end to the years they had hung in silence during the Second World War.

The bells of St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey rang in London, while one of the Royal Navy's largest ships, HMS Ocean, sounded her siren in Greenwich.

In Jersey, hundreds of people braved wet weather to watch a re-enactment ceremony marking the anniversary of the liberation of the island from German occupation forces.

Later, a star-studded concert will take place at Horse Guards Parade in London, hosted by The Royal British Legion, with performances influenced by the era from Katherine Jenkins, Pixie Lott, Status Quo and couples from Strictly Come Dancing.

And tomorrow, around 1,000 veterans and their families will join members of the royal family, politicians, members of the Armed Forces and representatives of the Allied nations and Commonwealth countries that fought alongside Britain for a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.

A parade of bands, veterans and current servicemen and women will then make their way from the abbey along Whitehall - past the balcony where Winston Churchill made a historic speech before vast crowds - before a reception for veterans in St James's Park hosted by the Legion, where there will also be vehicles from the 1940s.

The public can watch the ceremony at the abbey from Horse Guards Parade, where they will also be able to see the veterans' parade and the changing of The Queen's Life Guard by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

In the afternoon, there will be a fly-past over central London by the Red Arrows, following a fly-by of aircraft that helped Britain and its Allies win the war - the Lancaster bomber and Spitfire and Hurricane fighters.

Trafalgar Square will also be decked out with bunting and the ensigns of each of the Armed Forces on Sunday, and the Band of the Grenadier Guards will perform music from the era opposite Nelson's Column.

Three days of festivities are being held to mark the anniversary, seven decades after the announcement that Germany had offered the unconditional surrender to the Allies that brought about the end of the war in Europe.

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