WHEN VE Day dawns on 8th May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe.
To mark this occasion the sirens of Royal Navy ships at HM Naval Base Clyde will blare and their searchlights pierce the darkness on Friday, May 8.
From the immortal White Cliffs of Dover to the sands of Bahrain and Caribbean and windswept Falklands, the men and women of the Naval Service will join their countryfolk in paying homage to our greatest generation and remember the sacrifices made between 1939 and 1945.
The Royal Navy lost more than 250 warships defeating Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy; more than 40,000 sailors and Royal Marines were killed in the Atlantic, Arctic and Mediterranean.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of many large-scale events marking the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day including many parades and events around Scotland involving veterans.
Nevertheless, every effort is being made to ensure May 8, 2020 is a day to remember reflecting both the celebration and sacrifice befitting the greatest day in the history of our isles in the 20th Century.
Events on Friday begin at 8am with all Government buildings flying the Union Flag at full mast – something they will do on all three days of the weekend (lowering the standard at 8pm).
There will be a nationwide two minutes’ silence at 11am to remember more than 400,000 British military personnel and civilians who died in World War 2.
At 3pm, Royal Navy ships and support vessels at HMNB Clyde will join others based around the country and those deployed around the world and will blast their sirens for a minute to celebrate victory – the time marks the moment on Tuesday, May 8, 1945 when Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill addressed the nation.
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines have produced special versions of We’ll Meet Again and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, while the Corps of Drums will perform a special event on Horse Guards Parade, all while operating under Government rules.
Finally at 9.30pm or 10.00pm in Scotland, as it gets dark later, searchlights on naval ships – both those in harbour and those at sea – will be directed skywards for five minutes; the war’s end marked the lifting of the blackout after nearly six years.
Find out more about the Naval Service’s tributes to the men and women of 1939-1945 – and learn about the latter’s triumph over tyranny – on the Royal Navy’s website.