VE Day

8th May 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day - the day that the Second World War ended in Europe. The usual May bank holiday was moved to Firday 8th for the occasion and all sorts of events had been planned across the country and across Europe. Now, of course, these have been cancelled because of covid-19. But that doesn't mean that we can't mark this very special anniversary, remember the brave people who gave everything to end the war, and celebrate the peace that we enjoy now.

"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory."
Winston Churchill

"The flags of freedom fly all over Europe."
Harry Truman

VE Day 75

What is VE Day?

On 7th May 1945, after six long years of war, Germany surrendered to the Allies and the war in Europe was over. King George VI announced victory in Europe at 9pm over the radio and declared that the following day would be a national holiday. Many people didn’t wait until the following day to begin celebrating! Street parties erupted all over London, church bells rang out all over the country, bonfires were lit and colourful bunting was strung up all over the streets as soon as the radio announcement was made!

The German surrender was not a surprise. People across Britain had been on standby waiting for the celebrations for some time. Winston Churchill himself had waited for assurances from the Ministry of Food that beer was in good supply before announcing the national holiday. Luckily for everyone, it was! Commemorative items were produced in time for the celebrations, including VE Day mugs.

On 8th May, huge crowds gathered in London as King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (our current Queen's mother) and Winston Churchill stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave and celebrate. The Royal Family came out to the balcony eight times during the day!

The Royal Family and Winston Churchill wave to the crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace
The Royal Family and Winston Churchill wave to the crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace

Princess Elizabeth (the current Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister, Princess Margaret, were allowed to wonder through the crowds incognito to enjoy the celebrations! Princess Elizabeth later remembered standing in the crowd shouting “We want the King!” with the excited crowd, describing it as “the most exciting night of [her] life."  She said, “I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, and all of us were swept along by tides of happiness and relief."

An estimated 50,000 people partied in Piccadilly Circus until late in the night! All across the county, pubs and dance halls extended their open hours later than normal.

St Paul’s Cathedral in London held 10 services in a row to celebrate the peace. Each was attended by thousands of people.

In the US, the celebrations coincided with President Truman’s 61st birthday. President Truman went on to say it was his favourite birthday ever!

Although the war against Germany had ended, the war against Japan went on until August that year. World War II wasn't finally over until 15th August 1945.

Celebrating VE Day 75

Although we can't take part in parades or have street parties for the 75th aniversary of VE Day, we can still celebrate!

  • Why not put out some bunting? We've got some Union Flags to colour and some Union Flag buntings to print below. Or print out the flags of all the Allies.
  • Colour a picture and display it in your window for all to see - or put up a poster.
  • At 3pm there will be a special "toast" to the nation's heroes of World War II. Raise your glass or mug of tea and say "To those who gave so much, we thank you!"
  • Have your own tea-party at home! Make sandwiches and cupcakes (and decorate them with Union Jack cupcake flags - below)!
  • Wear patriotic colours for the day - red, white and blue for the UK, France, the US and Australia, and red and white for Canada, and so on.
  • At 9pm the Queen will address the nation - at the same time as her father announced victory in Europe 75 years ago.
  • Also at 9pm, or shortly afterwards, there is a plan to get everyone to sing along to the well-loved World War II song "We'll meet again". We've got a printout of the words and a video to watch for the tune below.

Our VE Day 75 Resources

Bunting template

Bunting Template

Use this simple bunting template with our scrapbook paper, your own paper or fabric to make a very simple bunting.

Bunting Template 2

Bunting Template 2

This useful bunting template includes a useful flap to fold over the string or ribbon that you will be attaching the flags to. Print this template onto card and draw round it to cut out bunting flags.

Bunting Template 3

Bunting Template 3

This bunting template produces flags (with fold-over flaps) that are the perfect size for decorating a classroom or playroom - not too big! Use as a card template to draw around, or print directly onto the back of coloured or patterned paper.

Bunting Template 4

Bunting Template 4

Use this template to string up a length of mini-bunting in no time! Print onto the back of coloured or patterned paper or card, cut out and fold the flaps over the string before gluing down. Alternatively, print onto card and cut out as templates for chidlren to use to draw around.

Bunting Template 5

Bunting Template 5

This useful bunting template makes large flags which are easy to cut out and, with the top flap, simple to attach to string or ribbon. Fold the flap over and simply glue down or staple.

Cupcake Flags UK

Cupcake Flags - UK

Print out a page of 12 cupcake flags. Grab some toothpicks and glue and you are ready to decorate your cupcakes! There are two pages in this pdf file - the first with the name of the flag, the second blank.

Design a Medal for VE Day

Design a Medal for VE Day

Many veterans wear medal with pride on VE Day, but not all who serve or sacrificed are awarded medals. This worksheet asks children to design a medal and think about what could it be awarded for.

Plan a VE Day 75 Party

Plan a VE Day 75 Party

This fun worksheet will help the kids plan your VE Day 75 celebrations. We might be staying at home, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate! Have a go at this worksheet in combination with our 1945 version for a compare and contrast activity.

Plan a VE Day Party - 1945

Plan a VE Day Party - 1945

This is an interesting historical worksheet. Can the kids put themselves into the shoes of someone planning that VE Day celebration in 1945? They will need to think about what food was available, who would have been invited and the sorts of activities that the party-goers would have enjoyed.

Soldier Template

Soldier Template

This soldier template comes in 5 different sizes - from the smallest pictured below, to an XL soldier that spreads over 4 pages. We've kept the outline as simple as possible while still providing the traditional "Tommy soldier" silhouette.

To Those Who Gave So Much Poster

To Those Who Gave So Much Poster

On 8th May, it is traditional to raise a toast "to those who gave so much" during the second world war. This poster has been designed specially for the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020.

Union Flag Bunting

Union Flag Bunting

Print out stack of Union flag bunting and string them around the house, classroom, garden or wherever! Perfect for any patriotic or royal occasion!

Union Flag Bunting 2

Union Flag Bunting 2

This is a quick way to string up a line of Union Jack bunting! With 7 little flags per page you won't need to print too many pages to get a nice long line, and you could lay multiple page on top of each other while cutting out.

Union Flag Tracing

Union Flag Tracing

Younger children can trace over the lines of the Union Flag (better known as the Union Jack) before colouring it in.

Union Jack colouring page

United Kingdom Flag Colouring Page

Here's a high quality colouring page of the UK's national flag, the Union Flag (more commonly known as the Union Jack). Colour it in traditional (and correct) red white and blue, or go mad with other colours!

VE Day 75 bunting

VE Day 75 Bunting

Spell out VE DAY 75 and THANK YOU with these colourful printable bunting flags. We've included a matching Union Jack flag and plan red and blue flags to add to the display.

VE Day 75 Colouring Bunting

VE Day 75 Colouring Bunting

This set of colouring bunting makes a fun project for VE Day 75 - or the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. We've included a Union Jack flag and a blank flag, and the rest spell out VE DAY 75 and THANK YOU. Pick the flags you want and grab the colouring pens and pencils!

VE Day 75 Colouring Page

VE Day 75 Colouring Page

This simple colouring page for the 75 anniversary of VE Day - 8th May 2020 - is perfect for putting up in display in your window.

VE Day 75 Flag Colouring Page

VE Day 75 Flag Colouring Page

Here's a colouring page for the 75th anniversary of VE Day, with a Union Jack background to colour in. When done it is perfect for displaying in your windows or attaching to a stick to make your very own, special VE Day 75 flag for waving.

VE Day 75 Newspaper Template

VE Day 75 Newspaper Template

Design the front page of The Village News on 8th May 2020 - the 75th anniversary of VE Day, or VE Day 75! You could talk about the history of the day as well as the celebrations which are planned, and draw an appropriate picture in the box.

VE Day 75 Poster

VE Day 75 Poster

Here's a colourful poster to display for VE Day 75! Choose from landscape or portrait versions - whichever will fit best in your window, perhaps?

VE Day 75 Poster Colouring

VE Day 75 Poster Colouring

Use this as a poster as it is, or print and colour in the letters. Either way it will look great on display for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

VE Day Newspaper Template

VE Day Newspaper Template

Here's a fun writing project! Write your own version of a newspaper from 8th May 1945 - VE Day! We've created various versions to choose from: with an iconic photo from the London celebrations or with space to draw your own picture, blank or with lines.

VE Day Poster 2

VE Day Poster 2

This simple poster will look stunning printed out and displayed in a front window on 8th May to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Use borderless print settings, or trim off the edges.

Victory in Europe Newspaper Template

Victory in Europe Newspaper Template

Use this newspaper template to write about victory in Europe at the end of the Second World War - or VE Day. We've included various versions, both lined and unlined, with photo and with space for a drawing.

We'll Meet Again Lyrics Printable

We'll Meet Again Lyrics Printable

Sing along to this haunting WW2 song, popularised by the nation's wartime sweetheart, Vera Lynn. You'll find a video of Vera Lynn singing to a huge audience of soldiers on our VE Day page.

Winston Churchill VE Day Speech 1

Winston Churchill VE Day Speech 1

Wnston Churchill spoke to the celebrating crowds below from the Ministry of Health balcony on 8th May 1945. Here are the words of his first address.

Winston Churchill Victory Poster

Winston Churchill Victory Poster

Winston Churchill became famous for his V for Victory sign. Here is just one of the photo showing him making it! Perhaps his positivity encouraged the country to keep going during hard times and keep striving for victory.

WW2 Evacuee Children Colouring Page

WW2 Evacuee Children Colouring Page

Our WW2 children are packed up and ready to be evacuated to the country on our evacuee colouring page. They even have labels that you could add names to.

More Useful Resources

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill

Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day

Flags
We have flags of all sizes as well as colouring flags and more - for most of the countries of the world and of course for all of the major Allies.
Flags

More WW2 History

D Day
D Day

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