VE Day – Oxfordshire to Mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe

Oxfordshire County Council is to mark the historical milestone of Victory in Europe Day on 8th May with a series of video tributes from key people across the county. 

Despite the restrictions of the lockdown, this remains an important moment for the nation and the tributes will begin with a video message online from Oxfordshire’s Lord Lieutenant Tim Stevenson at 2.50pm.

On 8th May 1945, Britain and its allies celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of Hitler’s aggression. This formally recognised the end of the Second World War in Europe and became known as Victory in Europe (VE) Day. 

Plans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic with events either cancelled or postponed. 

However, 8th May 2020 remains a Bank Holiday and many will participate in a planned national toast to the Heroes of World War Two at 3pm from the safety of our own homes. 

Take part by raising a glass, cheering and clapping on your doorsteps and offer your tribute; The official toast is: “To those who gave so much, we thank you.” 

Other parts of Oxfordshire are also celebrating. In Oxford, The Lord Mayor Councillor Craig Simmons will start the VE Day celebrations at 11am for the nation’s two-minute silence from his doorstep. At 3pm he will raise a toast to the nation. 

Cllr Andrew McHugh as the military champion for Cherwell District Council has recorded a message to celebrate VE Day which will feature on our Facebook page.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of the White Horse district councils are running a campaign to encourage staff, councillors and residents to get creative: making red, white and/or blue cakes, buns or muffins, dress their houses/pets/selves up to celebrate the end of the conflict – and to get residents to join in the government’s garden party, and submit to us their photos on social media, which will be shared in a big photo montage. Make your submissions to: [email protected] 

Witney Town Council also has a series of virtual events including a concert by Voicebox Choir who were due to have performed live in Witney Market Square. Further information here:

Schedule: VE Day 75 8th May 2020 

11am – 2 minutes silence for a national moment of remembrance
 11.15am – Join the Royal British Legion VE Day Livestream 
2.50pm – Watch Oxfordshire’s Lord Lieutenant’s message on our Facebook page: 
6.00pm: Christchurch Cathedral Oxford: listen to a VE Day Evensong from this historic place of worship: 
9pm – Her Majesty The Queen will send a message to the nation on BBC One, at 9pm, the same time her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945.  

Followed by a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.Open your doors and join in with this national moment of celebration. 9-10th May: Oxfordshire County Council continues VE Day 75: 

Keep following the 75th anniversary as our Facebook page features video messages from Oxfordshire’s council leaders as well as contributions from active duty personnel in the Royal Air Force and Army across Oxfordshire. The videos will be uploaded across both days and can be watched at: 

We will also be presenting a range of photos on our Oxfordshire County Council Twitter account that residents have submitted to us of locations across Oxfordshire that played a part in World War Two. Follow us @OxfordshireCC 

Stay Safe, Stay at Home: Please do not to travel or hold any gatherings that go against the stay home rules. Everyone must stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.  The best way for everyone to protect themselves and others from illness is to stay at home. If you are leaving your home for exercise once a day, please stay local and use open spaces near to your home. 

Further resources: 
Poster/bunting template Great British bunting template – BBC
Learning resources Imperial War Museum – What you need to know about VE DayRoyal British Legion – VE Day Learning ResourcesBBC History – End of WW2VE Day 75 Resources