Friday 8th May 2020
Marking the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day at home.
Message from the Mayor of Blandford Forum, Cllr Lynn Lindsay:
11:00am – A Moment of Remembrance
Join Geordie Thomson to pay tribute to the heroes of WW2 in a silence:
3:00pm – The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War 2
Raise a glass with the nation and watch a fanfare by Geordie Thomson on the Town Council’s social media channels along with Winston Churchill’s speech, followed by piper Roger du Barry playing Battle’s O’er and The Flowers of the Forest.
Piper plays Battle’s O’er: https://youtu.be/baML4NpVcb4
Piper plays The Flowers of the Forest: https://youtu.be/NgPflmH_WHU
6:55pm – Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! A Cry for Peace
The Deputy Town Crier’s (pre-recorded) cry:
8:00pm The People’s Celebration on BBC1
9:00pm – Join the nation in a singalong of ‘We’ll Meet Again‘
For further details visit: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-singalong
On Sunday 10th May the online service from the Blandford Forum Parish Church will have a VE Day focus. It can be viewed via their website www.bfpc.org.uk or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/blandfordparishchurch/
Things you can do…
* Make your own bunting!
* Decorate your home and windows in red, white and blue!
* Explore the RBL’s free VE Day home learning resources: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/teaching-remembrance
* Download a free party pack from the English Heritage website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/siteassets/home/visit/ve-day-75/eh-ve-day-at-home-pack.pdf
Winston Churchill’s speech to the nation:
This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this. Everyone, man or woman, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the independent resolve of the British nation. God bless you all. . . . . .and later . . . .
My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole. We were the first, in this ancient island, to draw the sword against tyranny. After a while we were left all alone against the most tremendous military power that has been seen. We were all alone for a whole year. There we stood, alone. Did anyone want to give in? Were we down-hearted? The lights went out and the bombs came down. But every man, woman and child in the country had no thought of quitting the struggle. London can take it. So we came back after long months from the jaws of death, out of the mouth of hell, while all the world wondered. When shall the reputation and faith of this generation of English men and women fail? I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we’ve done and they will say “do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need be-unconquered.”
A Cry for Peace Around the World! Town Criers were asked to proceed with a lone cry, which Deputy Town Crier Liz Rawlings did by filming it well in advance. Liz, being a poet, adapted some of the suggested wording to make it a truly fitting cry for Blandford Forum, and here is the wording she ‘cried’:
On VE Day this Cry for Peace comes deeply from our hearts
As we remember old and young who bravely played their parts
In the tragedy of the Second World War, that caused such devastation
To the lives and hopes and happiness of an earlier generation.
Wives and mothers, sisters too, did not sit idly by and grieve
But took on all the essential jobs their menfolk had to leave,
Working hard and tirelessly to keep the home fires burning –
Praying all the while that their men would be returning.
The joy in May of ’45 isn’t hard to comprehend
As six long years of wretchedness came finally to an end.
May the suffering and deprivation never be in vain . . .
They gave their all so our generation could freely live again.
We celebrate VE Day as a reason to remember
Beyond the solemn wreaths of the eleventh of November.
Don’t put away those poppies, don’t let the memories fade,
But think of ALL the sacrifices that EVERYBODY made –
Acknowledging the debt we owe – may their colours fly unfurled
As we join together in our cry. . . ‘PEACE TO THE WORLD!’
The Town Council has approved a design for a new VE Day / VJ Day 75 bench, which has been fabricated, and will be installed in the Tabernacle in due course. This was created by a local designer and is therefore exclusive to Blandford Forum. A mock-up of the design is pictured. It features the Prime Minister and Monarch at the time, people cheering, the Union flags and a couple kissing, which are all images associated with the period.
Saturday 15th August 2020
Marking the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day at home.
The Blandford & District Branch of the Royal British Legion is compiling a virtual parade for this event, which will be uploaded to this page in due course.
The Mayor of Blandford Forum, Cllr Lynn Lindsay contributed the following message:
We are now 75 years on from the final victory of Allied Forces and the debt of gratitude that we all owe those who delivered it is greater than ever. The 2nd Dorsets Regiment were involved in the fighting in India, notably at Kohima and residents will be aware of Kohima Court in Blandford Forum. In fact the 2nd Dorsets, along with the Divisional HQ Staff of 2nd Division, broke the Japanese forces advance and pushed them back at Kohima and this is considered the turning point in the Far East war. This significant anniversary is an occasion for us to acknowledge that debt once again – to the Veterans of the campaign, to all those who lost their lives, and to the many military Prisoners of War and civilian internees who suffered in captivity and not to forget their families who suffered back home in their own way. Although events are not taking place on Saturday 15th August 2020, please do pause for just two minutes – as I will be – and pay your respects at 2:00pm.
© IWM (D 25636) Civilians and service personnel in London's Piccadilly Circus celebrate the news of Allied Victory over Japan in August 1945.
Last modified: July 10, 2020