It is remembered as one of the most joyous days in history, with vast crowds filling central London and street parties across the land as Britain marked Victory in Europe on May 8, 1945.
Now, 75 years on, the whole country is preparing to celebrate all over again.
Such is the public demand for a commemorative event in the Royal Albert Hall on May 8 – supported by the Daily Mail – that plans were announced to screen the show live in 450 cinemas all over Britain.
The commemorative event of Victory of Europe Day on May 8, 1954, at the Royal Albert Hall (pictured) is to be broadcast at more than 400 cinemas across the UK. It features the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, the Military Wives Choirs, special guests, VIPs, members of Sir Winston Churchill’s family and, above all and veterans
A trailer for the event has now been released, which features the stirring words of Winston Churchill as he announces victory.
He says: ‘We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing.’
A woman who was alive during the victory celebrations then says: ‘Trafalgar Square was alive with little people, looking like little ants, swimming in the water.’
Today marks the 75-day countdown to VE Day 75 and the exclusive trailer reveals that opera singer Katherine Jenkins will be performing at the memorial event alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Military Wives Choir.
Other VIPs, members of Sir Winston Churchill’s family and veteran soldiers will also be involved in the commemorative event.
Sir Andrew Gregory, of the armed forces charity SSAFA, said ‘bringing the nation together’ to commemorate the date in world history is ‘absolutely fitting’. Pictured is Prime Minister Winston Churchill being mobbed after his VE Day broadcast
Tickets sold out almost immediately after we announced our spectacular night at the concert hall.
However, you do not need to be in central London to enjoy an evening of fabulous music, wartime classics, historic readings and unalloyed patriotism in aid of our oldest Forces charity.
Crowds cheer as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth with Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret appear on the balcony on May 8, 1945. Now, 75 years on, the whole country is preparing to celebrate all over again
The evening will raise funds for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, which has been supporting service personnel of all ages and their families for 130 years.
The charity’s chief executive, Sir Andrew Gregory, welcomed the news that everyone can now be part of the action.
‘Bringing the nation together to commemorate this pivotal date in world history is absolutely fitting and we are delighted that this poignant concert will be accessible in cinemas for the public as a whole on VE Day,’ he said.
For more information and tickets, click here.
Last Battle of Britain ace dies at 101
Hurricane pilot: Paul Farnes
The last fighter ace of the Battle of Britain has died at the age of 101, meaning only two of The Few are still alive.
Wing Commander Paul Farnes, who died peacefully at his home in Hampshire, was one of 3,000 Allied airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain and was the last surviving ace – a pilot who brought down five or more enemy aircraft.
His death means there are now only two surviving members of The Few – the young pilots immortalised by Churchill who repelled Hitler’s Luftwaffe during the 1940 battle in the skies over southern England.
Mr Farnes was the only one fit enough to attend the annual Memorial Day in July last year, a week before his 101st birthday. He joined the RAF volunteer reserve in 1938 and in September 1939 began flying Hurricanes with 501 Squadron. While in France he destroyed one German aircraft, possibly destroyed a second and shared two more.
But that was a mere prelude to his exploits in the Battle of Britain – six destroyed, one probably destroyed and six damaged. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal in October 1940.
He stayed in the RAF until 1958, later running a hotel in West Sussex.
Flight Lieutenant William Clark, 100, and Flying Officer John Hemingway, 100, are now the only surviving members of The Few.