Winchester marks VE Day with civic and cathedral events

Press Release: 05/05/2015

70th anniversary of VE Day

On 8 May millions of people across the UK will remember the seventieth anniversary of VE day – a moment of unprecedented euphoria that heralded the end of war in Europe in 1945.
This Friday, Winchester will join in national remembrance of the anniversary with simultaneous short ceremonies at 3pm outside Winchester Guildhall and in Winchester Cathedral.

The civic ceremony on Friday 8 May at 3pm will be a two-minute silence led by the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Eileen Berry. The Mayor will be joined by members of the Royal British Legion and personnel from Worthy Down barracks. Traffic on the Broadway will be temporarily suspended and all city centre businesses on the High Street are invited to send delegations to pay their respects as a Bugler from the Band and Bugles of the Rifles plays the Last Post. All members of the public are welcome to attend both this service and a simultaneous public service at Winchester Cathedral – please arrive at both venues by 14.50pm.

Cllr Eileen Berry, Mayor of Winchester, commented:

This will be a weekend of remembrance across the UK. I am sure we will all wish to remember and celebrate this important day in some way. I know many people have plans in their own street or are holding family gatherings.

Seventy years ago it was a moment to rejoice that service men and women were coming home; families no longer needed to live in fear and young evacuees could return from the countryside where they had been sent for their protection.

And as Britain finally caught its breath and started to think about how it would rebuild, VE day was also a time for reflection on the impact of the war. Within every community today there are people who will remember that day.”

On Saturday 9 May the bells of the cathedral will ring out from 11am, and Guildhall Winchester will be live-screening the BBC coverage at 6.30pm in the evening. A special service will take place in Winchester Cathedral at 11am on Sunday – all are welcome.