This Friday marks a momentous occasion, and one that feels all the more significant during these uncertain times. On the 8th May it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe and years of destruction and loss came to a close. Although celebrations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day have been sadly put on hold across the nation due to Covid-19, many will still be marking this historic moment from the safety of their homes and paying tribute to the Second World War generation and those that lost their lives to protect our country.
Chichester Cathedral will be marking VE Day with an online service at 10am led by the Dean of Chichester, with contributions from the Cathedral Clergy and Mrs Susan Pyper, HM Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex. Chichester Cathedral will also be joining other cathedrals in The Big Picnic For Hope – an initiative aiming to mark this important day whilst also raising vital funds for the Trussell Trust.
The Novium Museum has curated a special virtual exhibition highlighting some of the main celebrations which took place in Chichester on VE Day 1945 and exploring how our communities have commemorated VE Day in the past. The exhibition is available online so that people can enjoy it from the safety of their own homes.
The exhibition features photographs, objects and first-hand accounts from residents about their VE Day and wartime childhood memories. Virtual visitors will also be able to hear two local residents, Michael and Anne, talk about their VE Day and wartime childhood memories.
The Novium Museum’s online Victory in Europe exhibition can be viewed online here.
The government has also announced revised plans to honour this milestone as part of a special BBC programme. This will include messages from the Queen, The Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister and many more. There is also a free template pack available so the public can hold a 1940s style afternoon tea at home with homemade VE Day bunting, recipes, games and fun activities for children.
For more information on VE Day and how you can continue to pay tribute, please click here.
For further details of the BBC’s programming click here.
You can follow local VE Day activity and also share your own celebrations on social media using the hashtag #VEDay75ChiDistrict.