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War veterans invited to take part in events celebrating VE Day


Historic moment: Boris Johnson

Historic moment: Boris Johnson


Historic moment: Boris Johnson

The Royal British Legion and the Government are calling for members of the Second World War generation to take part in events celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

A raft of plans have been drawn up to mark the occasion, including the piping of Battle's O'er from the highest point of each home nation.

Pipers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment for Northern Ireland will play the traditional air from the summit of Slieve Donard mountain in the Mournes at 3pm on May 8.

The Last Post and Reveille will also be played at five of the UK's farthest-flung locations, including at Enniskillen Castle, not far from where the bells of St Macartin's Cathedral rang out 75 years ago to mark the occasion.

There will also be a display by the Red Arrows and a Battle of Britain memorial flight above Buckingham Palace.

The Government had already announced that the traditional early May bank holiday will be moved from Monday, May 4 to Friday, May 8 to celebrate the anniversary.

The Legion is looking for all those who contributed to the war effort, including those who served on the Home Front and in the emergency services, to take part in the events.

Applications are also open for Allied Forces, the Commonwealth, descendants and child evacuees to take centre stage at the commemorations in London.

Veterans are also invited to a service of thanksgiving held at Westminster Abbey while street parties are expected to be held across the country.

Meanwhile St James's Park will be turned into Victory Park, featuring examples of what life in Britain was like during the war.

It has been also confirmed Winston Churchill's famous victory speech announcing the end of the war will be broadcast in public spaces across the country at 3pm.

Victory in Europe (VE) Day on May 8, 1945 marked the formal acceptance of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender by Britain and its Allies following almost six years of brutal warfare.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the anniversary "marks a historic moment for our great country to come together and reflect on the heroes of the Second World War".

Other events include a service of remembrance and parade in Cardiff and a veterans' parade and concert in Edinburgh.

Last week the Home Secretary announced that pubs, clubs and cinemas will be able to stay open into the early hours in celebration of VE Day.

Belfast Telegraph