This year we are commemorating 75 years since the end of the Second World War.
VE Day took place on 8 May 1945, the day after Nazi Germany surrendered. It marked the end of nearly six years of conﬂict in Europe during which time many thousands of people had contributed to the war effort and served their country.
For many, VE Day was a day of celebration. Bunting was hung in the streets and people danced with friends and neighbours. Many people gathered outside Buckingham Palace to catch a glimpse of King George VI, who gave a radio broadcast at 9.00pm, and the future Queen Elizabeth II.
However, for some it was a day of mixed emotions. Many people had lost friends or family members to the conﬂict and were grieving. Meanwhile, the conﬂict in the Far East continued and many people were still serving overseas. Japan did not surrender until 15 August 1945 when VJ Day (Victory over Japan Day) was announced.
This May, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, we are remembering all those who served their country and celebrated on VE Day online. VJ Day will be commemorated on its anniversary later in the year with a service.
Tea For II
Did you know that although tea was rationed during the Second World War, British people still received enough to make three cups a day. Find out more about this and other interesting tea facts in our new online exhibition inspired by the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Learn From Home
Learning and engagement is at the heart of what we do at the National Memorial Arboretum, and our Learning Team have produced some materials, for all ages, that we invite you to use during this time at home.
VE Day 75 Anniversary Tour
Whilst we are currently unable to take you on a tour of the Arboretum, we want to share just some of the stories behind our memorials which link to the end of the Second World War during this special anniversary year. Download our VE Day 75 Anniversary Tour to discover fascinating facts, beautiful photographs and even a map so you can find these memorials once we have re-opened.