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How is Suffolk going to commemorate VE Day?

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 April 2020

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and the Royal British Legion is calling on people to celebrate from home during the coronavirus crisis  Picture: PA/PA WIRE

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and the Royal British Legion is calling on people to celebrate from home during the coronavirus crisis Picture: PA/PA WIRE

PA Wire/PA Images

People in Suffolk are being asked to sing the hits of Dame Vera Lynn and host at-home 1940s picnics as the county prepares for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Mark Brennan from Hadleigh Royal British Legion is painting a mural to be displayed in the town centre  Picture: MARK BRENNANMark Brennan from Hadleigh Royal British Legion is painting a mural to be displayed in the town centre Picture: MARK BRENNAN

The Royal British Legion has come up with a list of ways people can celebrate the day on Friday, May 8, to mark the Allies’ victory in Europe during the Second World War – including a sing along to Dame Vera Lynn’s hit “We’ll Meet Again” and covering windows with bunting and pictures of former soliders.

A two-minute silence will also begin at 11am – with the legion’s assistant director of commemorative events, Bob Gamble OBE, saying it should not only be to remember those lost at war, but a moment to reflect on the impact of Covid-19 worldwide.

The Queen will also give a televised address to the nation at 9pm – the same time her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945.

Sandra Bromley, membership support officer for Suffolk Royal British Legion, said at least 35 local events linked to the legion have been cancelled.

She added: “It is such a shame as people have put so much effort into organising these events, and many of them are at an age where they really do need to stay indoors to not catch the virus.

“But there are virtual ways people can get involved, such as a radio show hosted by a member of the Felixstowe Branch on Fresh Gold Radio.

“We also have Mark Brennan, chairman of the Hadleigh branch, painting a mural to be put on the wall of Ipswich Building Society. He and another member are also visiting care homes dressed as soldiers and playing war songs from a safe, social distance.”

Sandra added the branch’s fundraising channels have been significantly hit as a result of the virus.

She said: “It is going to be quite difficult as we’re no longer able to go to big events like the Suffolk Show.

“If all this carries on into the Poppy Appeal, then that really is going to be a different ball game.”

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also launched an online portal for people who wish to host their own at-home 1940s picnic, complete with recipes such as homity pie and Spam hash.

Posters of soldiers and bunting whcih can be coloured in can also be found on its website, www.ve-vjday75.gov.uk.


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