VE Day Celebrations on Sark
OVER TWO HUNDRED BEACONS WILL LIGHT UP THE SKIES FOR ‘VE DAY 70’ CELEBRATIONS ON FRIDAY 8TH MAY 2015
Sark will join more than 200 Beacon locations around the country in lighting a special beacon to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day on the evening of Friday, 8 May.
Over 200 Beacons will be lit at 9.32pm throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, following the lighting of the Principal Beacon outside Windsor Castle by Her Majesty The Queen.
A large Bonfire Beacon traditionally used for such important occasions such as these will be lit at La Piece d’Evant l’Hu in Sark.
The beacon will be lit by Deputy Seigneur, Dr Richard Axton to mark the start of a weekend of celebrations; he will be assisted by WW II Veteran Air Commodore (Dr) Robbie Robb and by Jack Bateson, representing the young people of Sark.
VE Day marks the official end of hostilities in Europe for the Second World War on 8 May 1945, following the formal unconditional surrender of German Forces. It was an occasion of national celebration, yet also one of sombre reflection for those who would not return. This anniversary will celebrate the achievements of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the allies in their victory overseas and on the Home Front, but will also pay tribute to the 580,406 UK and Commonwealth Forces and 67,073 UK civilians who lost their lives during six long years of conflict.
Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster of the VE Day 70th Anniversary Beacons said: “VE Day on the 8 May represents a further important milestone in the history of our country. It was on this day, 70 years ago, that peace brought an end to nearly six years of war across Europe. We must not let this day pass without reflecting on the sacrifice, courage and determination of the people who saw us through this dark period.
“It therefore fitting that we should celebrate with the veterans and their families and commemorate this historic anniversary once more through the lighting of beacons on Friday 8 May this year.
Her Majesty The Queen has graciously agreed to light the Principal and first Beacon outside Windsor Castle. This will be followed by two further Beacons being lit along the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park, just before the lighting of the other two hundred plus Beacons throughout the United Kingdom.”
The VE Day 70 celebrations will be followed in Sark by a celebration of Liberation from Occupation by German Forces on Sunday May 10th with events at Creux Harbour commencing at 11 am.
Beacons large and small, either specially built gas-fuelled structures or simple bonfires, will be lit across the country to mark VE Day 70 this year, and individuals are being asked to attend a beacon-lighting event in their area, hosted by their local authority, to which veterans of the Second World War will be invited. In the North of England a beacon will be lit beneath the world-famous Blackpool Tower. As the beacon is lit the tower will become illuminated with a flame effect at the top, which will be seen for miles and will be kept lit throughout the weekend.
To find out where a beacon is being lit in your area, along with a variety of other events taking place across the UK over 8-10 May, you can visit the VE Day 70 events map. Here you will find details on events such as street parties and picnics, special concerts and celebratory bell-ringing from your local cathedral or church.
Barbara Weatherill, 89, from Selby, North Yorkshire, was serving in Sunderland in the Army in 1945.
“I’d heard the news about the war being over but couldn’t celebrate as I had to transport rations to another Army base. The journey took twice as long, as the streets were filled with people celebrating and having a great time. It will be fantastic to see some of that joy again in the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary.