TODAY the UK is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe – also known as VE Day.

It marks a momentous occasion in British history when on Tuesday, May 8, 1945, the Allied forces formally accepted Nazi Germany’s surrender. The day also marked the release of more than 13,000 British prisoners of war to be able to return home.

Today's Argus contains a special supplement marking the anniversary, from the memories of those who were there to pictures and stories from the day itself.

All across the UK, celebrations were held as men, women and children congregated in the streets to celebrate the end of the Second World War in Europe - and even the-then Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret slipped away from their royal residences to join the crowds.


Every year in Gwent, VE Day is marked much like the rest of the UK – with parades and services of remembrance. Several of the branches of the Royal British Legion across Gwent were planning several ways to celebrate the milestone 75th anniversary, but sadly coronavirus has put an end to that.

However, there are many ways in which legion members, veterans and the general public are going to celebrate together while still being apart in line with the social distancing rules.

At 11am, there will be a two-minute silence for a national moment of remembrance for those who died during the war. This will be followed at 11.15am by a virtual livestream hosted by the Royal British Legion who will be sharing stories and memories from people who served.

Those who were around for the initial celebrations can relive the speech given to the people of the UK by Winston Churchill to announce the end of the war at 3pm and at 9pm, the Queen will address the nation at the same time her father did all those years ago.

After the speech, people all across the UK are encouraged to stand on their doorsteps to sing We’ll Meet Again.

Some local residents have come together online to arrange home picnics and celebrations of VE Day – to allow for a small recreation of the street parties that were seen up and down the country in 1945 – but complying with social distancing rules each household is set to have their own little picnic in their garden (or in the house depending on the weather).

More than 150 people have decided to do this across Torfaen.

A similar event will be happening in Rogerstone where there will also be a virtual ceremony with legion member Russell Newton dipping the standard in his garden.

Cwmbran residents Leanne and John Taylor, and their friend Denise Larcombe, set up a ‘VE Day 75 In Your Garden Party’ Facebook page. They are encouraging people to mark the anniversary on Friday afternoon with a social distancing garden party.

“It’s about touching base with people that you haven’t been able to see and coming together in a safe way to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day,” said Mrs Taylor.

“Whether it is with a picnic on the front garden, or a social distancing street party.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had. Lots of people have got behind the idea, and we’ve had some people join the group from Northern Ireland, Plymouth, and Portsmouth.

“We’ve had people sharing recipes and crafts that their children have been doing, like making bunting.

“This anniversary is not going to be overshadowed by what is going on in the world at the moment. We are not going to forget. We will remember them.

“Luckily, our generation don’t know what it was like, but at the moment we need to come together as a community.”

People across Gwent are also encouraged to decorate their houses with red, white and blue – whether its bunting, balloons or get the youngsters decorating with chalk – to show support for the nation.

Previously, we showed you some Tommy decorations that can be put in your windows and we would like to see you with yours by emailing us at

In Risca, there will be posters displayed in shop windows and Steve Veysey has created a lovely video to commemorate the occasion and the historical significance that will be online today.

Mr Veysey and his friend Iain Jones will also be sounding the last post and laying wreaths at the war memorials.

While in the house, there are going to be a wide variety of films and documentaries on TV across all channels that will focus on the Second World War and VE Day.

We want to see how you are celebrating VE Day, send us your pictures to