Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR is Pageantmaster for VE Day 75 which will take place next year. He has written to us asking for our cathedral and our churches help with commemorations; the details of which are outlined below. The full letter can be found here.     

Friday, 8th May 2020

3pm – Battle's O'er& VE 75 Years 

3pm is the time Winston Churchill officially announced the end of WW2 from the Cabinet Office at 10 Downing Street, London.

Pipers from around the world will open VE Day 75 by playing Battle's O'er and VE 75 Years at 3pm local time in the country they are in, paying tribute to the millions who gave so much to earn our freedom today. Battle's O'er is the traditional tune played by pipers at the end of a battle, and VE 75 Years has been specially written for this occasion by Pipe Major Roger Bayes of the city of Norwich Pipe Band.

Battle’s O’er will be played by pipers from the top of the four highest Peaks in the UK - Ben Nevis, Scotland; Scafell Pike, England; Mount Snowdon, Wales, and Slieve Donnard, Northern Ireland – and also at the five furthest points in the UK. This has never been undertaken before.

We are encouraging pipers working that day to pause at 3pm to play the tune in their workplace. It will provide pipers throughout the world the opportunity to participate without having to take time off work. We are already aware that a nurse will be playing the pipes on her hospital ward, and that others will be playing at a railway company, in a field and outside a bakery.

3pm – The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2

To coincide with the playing of Battle's O'er thousands of pubs throughout the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will encourage customers to raise a glass at 3pm and take part in The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2.

6.55pm – A Cry for Peace Around the World

Town criers around the world will be undertaking A Cry for Peace Around the World, kindly written for this occasion by Crier Peter Taunton. The cry, which can be downloaded from the website, will be performed at 7pm local time in locations around the world, starting in New Zealand.

7pm – Ringing out for Peace

In association with the Central Council of Bellringers, bells in churches and cathedrals will be encouraged to ring out at 7pm on Friday 8th May 2020, in a collective celebration of VE Day 75. The sound of church bells is deeply rooted in British culture. They provide the grand soundtrack to our historic moments, calling us to wake, to pray, to work, to arms, to feast, to celebrate and, in times of crisis, to come together. This aspect of VE Day 75 could not be more appropriate, ringing out around the world to celebrate the peace we share today.

We do hope that you will take part and register your involvement on the VE Day 75 website – www.veday75.org to enable us to keep intouch with you as well as being able to inform the media of your involvement nearer the time.

7pm onwards – Parties and Celebration

Parties and celebrations will take place in pubs, clubs and hotels, on town and village greens and in our streets, bringing the communities of the nation together in common friendship. Those town and cities twinned with others around the world will be encouraged invite them to join in this joyous occasion. We know that many of those taking part will be organising firework displays over the weekend too.

Saturday 9th May 2020

Parties and celebrations continue.

Sunday 10th May 2020

10.30am – Church Services of Celebration and Commemoration

We are encouraging all the churches and cathedrals throughout the land to organise services of celebration and commemoration at 10.30am on the morning of 10th May 2020, to celebrate the peace we share today and remember those who lost their lives or returned home dreadfully wounded. The services will also recognise the sacrifices of those women and others who kept the nation fed and the factories, mines and hospitals working during the most challenging of times. Churches wishing to take part should register their involvement at the VE day 75 website –www.veday75.org to enable us to keep in touch with them and inform the media of their involvement nrearer the time.

Tribute to the Millions & the Last Post

Those planning services will be encouraged to ask a representative from their local community to read out the Tribute to the Millions, which can be downloaded at www.veday75.org, and involve a local bugler or trumpeter toplay the Last Post and Reveille. Their participation can also be registered on the VE Day 75 website – www.veday75.org.