What Is VE Day?
VE Day stands for victory in Europe. 2020 marks 75 years since Nazi Germany's formal surrender at the end of the Second World War. At 3pm on 8th May 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made an announcement on the radio that war in Europe had come to an end. On this day, millions took to the streets to celebrate peace after years of devastating war.
VE Day Commemoration Events - Friday 8th May
- 11am - Two-minute national silence to remember the declaration of victory and the end of the Second World War in Europe.
- 2.45pm - 3.45pm - The first of two special BBC One programmes to mark VE75, including extract from Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech delivered at 3pm on VE Day.
- Afternoon - Britons encouraged to hold 1940s-style afternoon tea parties at home rather than street parties, including homemade bunting and recipes from the era.
- 8pm - The People’s Celebration - An evening of memories and music to honour and celebrate the Second World War generation. On the BBC
- 9pm - Address by the Queen followed by national doorstep rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again
VE Day 75th Anniversary Video Lesson Key Stage 1
This is a video lesson to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day for children in Key Stage 1. It focuses on the concepts of evidence and similarity and difference. There is an explanation of the chronology and how to work with written sources and images.
VE Day 75th Anniversary Video Lesson Key Stage 2
This is a video lesson to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day for children in Key Stage 2. It focuses on the concepts of cause and consequence, evidence, similarity and difference. There is an explanation of the chronology and how to work with written sources and images.
Bunting is any festive decorations made of fabric, or of plastic, paper or even cardboard in imitation of fabric. Typical forms of bunting are strings of colorful triangular flags and lengths of fabric in the colors of national flags gathered and draped into swags or pleated into fan shapes.
End of the War Learning
Brilliant Books To Mark The 75th Anniversary of VE Day
To help children understand and appreciate the significance of VE Day, World Book Day has put together a list of some of their favourite books set around World War II:
On their website you can find out about the following books.
Find out more about these books here.
Other Useful Websites
This short film explains how cracking Nazi Germany's coded messages helped win World War Two. A veteran called Bernard talks about working for the RAF in their code-breaking division. He heard about VE Day 24 hours before it was announced because he received the message as a cipher - he still has the paper with the message on.
Have a go at this Morse Code.pdf challenge.
VE Day Mugs
Celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day with these VE Day and Union Jack themed decorated mugs.
Find Instructions here.
VE Day Coaster
Celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day with these VE Day and Union Jack themed decorated coaster. This will go well with the mug you made and they will make a lovely addition to the home all year round.
Find Instructions here.
Dame Vera Lynn - We'll Meet Again
Who Wrote The Song?
Originally released in 1939, “We’ll Meet Again” was composed by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, and sung by Dame Vera Lynn.
Why Was The Song So Important During The Second World War?
The song found its fame during the Second World War, as it resonated with soldiers who had to leave their families and fight for Britain. Thanks to its moving melody and uplifting lyrics, “We’ll Meet Again” was played on the radio during wartime broadcasts.
103-year-old Dame Vera Lynn collaborated with Katherine Jenkins to re-release the track in support of NHS workers and their families. All of the money raised from sales of the duet are going to NHS Charities Together. The re-version was released on Saturday 11 April and climbed the iTunes charts to reach number one just five days later.
1940's Song and Dance