Mayor urges Londoners to join VE Day 70th anniversary commemorations

15 March 2015

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today called for people across the capital and around the country to join in the national commemorations being organised to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

Three days of events are being planned in London and across the UK to mark VE Day, which falls on 8 May and marks the end of the Second World War in Europe following the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.

Plans range from a parade, a service of thanksgiving and a star-studded concert in central London to street parties around the UK.

The Mayor is supporting a number of different events and activities in London. They include a photographic exhibition in Trafalgar Square on VE Day itself, Friday 8 May. The historic square, which was the scene of VE Day celebration in 1945, will also host a military band on the steps playing music from the 1940s, to coincide with a parade of current and service personnel from Westminster Abbey and along Whitehall.

The Mayor's Office is taking charge of plans for a beacon to be lit in the capital, details for which will be announced in due course, along with other celebratory activities.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'The 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe is an opportunity for people in London and across the UK to remember the incredible sacrifices made by our Armed Forces and the people of Britain in the battle to defeat tyranny. The surrender of Nazi Germany ushered in a new dawn following one of the darkest periods in our history. With the passage of time VE Day is all the more important. This May, a new generation will have the opportunity to understand and to commemorate a victory that has shaped the life each of us leads today. That in itself is profoundly important.'

More details about the plans to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day will be announced shortly.

Notes to editors

For more information about events and how to get involved please visit www.gov.uk/veday70. • The line-up for the Horse Guards concert and details of how to get tickets will be announced shortly.

• The Royal British Legion was recently awarded £6M of LIBOR funding by HM Treasury to support the work of commemorations over the next five years, The Royal British Legion will use part of these funds for VE Day 70.

• VE Day images are available to license directly from the IWM Archive. To license images for press use, please browse the collection, take note of the reference number on the image and contact the IWM image sales team directly: Telephone: 020 7416 5215/5309 Email: [email protected].