Hartlepool set to pay its tribute on VE Day anniversary

Published Tuesday, 5th May 2020

Hartlepool people will stand proudly with the rest of the nation to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day – when the Second World War formally came to an end in Europe - on Friday 8 May.

Although national and local events have had to be scaled back significantly due to the Coronavirus emergency, there are still lots of ways people can mark this milestone and pay tribute to the remarkable Second World War generation from the safety of their own homes and while maintaining social distancing.

Among the national and local highlights are:

  • 11am – People in Hartlepool are encouraged to stand at their front doors and join in a nationwide two-minute silence. The Hartlepool Armed Forces Liaison Group is asking standard bearers to join colleagues around the country in presenting their standards in their own gardens and playing the Last Post and Reveille. 
  • 2.45pm – BBC One will broadcast a special programme including Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill’s famous speech declaring the end of the war in Europe. Immediately before the start of the speech, people are asked to raise their glasses in the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War 2 – “Those who gave so much – we thank you.”

Immediately after this broadcast, a civic toast will be broadcast on the Council’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hartlepoolcouncil

  • 4pm - Click onto the Council’s Facebook page again to see a special performance of wartime songs by 1940s singer Vicky Sandison from the Town Hall Theatre (please note – this is a broadcast-only event). This will also be streamed to a number of care homes in Hartlepool for residents to enjoy.
  • 9pm – Her Majesty The Queen will address the nation at the same time that her father the late King George VI addressed the nation on VE Day three quarters of a century ago.

Following the Queen’s broadcast, people in Hartlepool are encouraged to safely open their doors or windows and join in a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime classic ‘We’ll Meet Again’ which will be broadcast on BBC One.

There are also lots of other ways people in Hartlepool can mark the anniversary.

VE Day 75

Each day this week on the Council’s social media and on Radio Hartlepool, there will be a look back at what was happening 75 years ago to the day in Europe and in Hartlepool in the run-up to VE Day.

Meanwhile, Hartlepool Support Hub will be promoting some VE Day-related activities and in partnership with Poolie Time Exchange it is putting together VE Day anniversary packs to go out with food parcel, prescription and other deliveries to help those receiving support to enjoy a tea and cake celebration.

The national event website www.ve-vjday75.gov.uk has lots of great ideas to help people take part, including window posters for children to colour in to thank the wartime generation and details of how to research your family’s wartime history for free online. People can also share wartime memories and tributes on social media using #VEDay75Hartlepool.

Councillor Shane Moore, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “Although we are not able to mark this important anniversary as fully as we would all have wished, we can still come together in spirit as a town and as a nation to give thanks for the remarkable wartime generation and remember the sacrifices they made. They are truly an inspiration to us all, especially in the present dark times.”

Councillor Lee Cartwright, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, added: “We pay tribute to all those who served and gave their lives in the cause of freedom, whether in the Armed Forces or on the home front, remembering also that for some servicemen and women the Second World War continued in the east until Victory over Japan in August 1945.”