VE Day 70: Coleraine remembers with Beacon Ceremony

Men, women and children celebrating 'Victory in Europe Day' in the street, as seventy years after the nation broke out in jubilant celebration at the end of the Second World War, Britons will again take to the streets to commemorate VE Day.  PA Wire

Men, women and children celebrating 'Victory in Europe Day' in the street, as seventy years after the nation broke out in jubilant celebration at the end of the Second World War, Britons will again take to the streets to commemorate VE Day. PA Wire

0
Have your say

Friday, 8 May 2015 is the 70th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day), marking 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Friday will be a day of remembrance including a two minute silence across the country at 3pm.

In the evening a chain of over 100 beacons will be lit across the UK.

On Saturday, cathedrals across the country have been invited to ring their bells in celebration at 11am.

On Sunday there will be a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, a parade along Whitehall and a reception for veterans in St James’s Park hosted by the Legion with a flypast in the afternoon.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in partnership with the Royal British Legion, will be shining a ‘Beacon’ in Coleraine town centre to mark the anniversary on Friday, May 8 at 9.32pm.

All World War 2 veteran, reserve forces, ex-service personnel, cadets and members of the public are invited to the ceremony.

There will be a short ceremony and laying of the wreath, followed by switching on the ‘Beacon’ shining over 30,000 feet into the sky.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is the only council to host such an event with this type of beacon, as two lights will be placed at the front door of the Coleraine Town Hall for all to see.

The local branches of the Women’s Institute, (WI) will be supporting the event in WW2 costume.

World War 2 veterans and guests are asked to arrive for 8.45pm.

Legion timings: Parade at Coleraine RBL, 8.45pm; Form up, 8.55pm; March off, 9pm; Service at Town Hall 9.10pm; Lighting of Beacon, 9.32pm; March back to Legion, 9.45pm.

Some history

With events taking place nationally and locally, now’s a good time to top up ​​your ​​VE Day​ ​​​history:

Following Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to allied forces at 2.41pm on 7 May 1945.

Active operations by the German forces ceased at 11.01pm on 8 May.

At 3.00pm on 8 May, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation, declaring the war to be over.

The Second World War lasted 6 years and 1 day in total, from 1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945.

The Second World War in Europe saw approximately 382,700 British service personnel and 67,100 civilians killed.

Effects of the war remained in Britain as rationing continued until July 1954 with bacon and meat being the last to go.

After the war, Germany was divided into 4 zones: British, French, American (western zone) and Russian.

British and Commonwealth Armed Forces continued fighting in Burma, Singapore and Thailand for a further three years until Japan’s surrender.