Edinburgh skyline during sunset

Appeal For WWII Veterans To Take Part In Scotland's VE Day 75 Commemorations

A parade, concert and flypast are some of the events being put on to mark the anniversary.

Edinburgh skyline during sunset

The Scottish Government is appealing for Second World War veterans to take part in events marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Scotland has announced plans to hold a parade through Edinburgh on Victory in Europe (VE) Day, 8 May, as well as a flypast by RAF aircraft and an open-air concert.

World War Two veterans and their carers are being offered free travel and accommodation in the city for the commemorations.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey said: "Although three quarters of a century have passed since the end of World War II, we must never forget the sacrifices made by those from across the Commonwealth and Allied nations.

“Their service allowed us to enjoy the freedoms and relative peace we now take for granted and it is important veterans of the War are central to these commemorations."

On 7 May 1945, Nazi Germany formally and unconditionally surrendered to Britain and its Allies following almost six years of brutal warfare.

The following day was declared Victory in Europe Day and millions of people celebrated the news.

This year's early May Bank Holiday has been moved to 8 May to coincide with the anniversary. 

People celebrate VE Day on the streets of Toronto, Canada, in 1945 (Picture: Toronto Archvies).

The Scottish Government says the parade will feature vintage military vehicles, serving military personnel, veterans and motorcycles from Legion Scotland's Riders Branch.

While the concert will be held in Princes Street Gardens and will "follow the theme of Scotland's involvement in World War II".

The events are being delivered in partnership by the Scottish Government, Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland. 

“The 75th anniversary of VE Day is a hugely important moment in our nation’s history," said Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland.

“It is a time for communities from across Scotland to join together in celebration and commemoration, and we want to ensure that those who sacrificed so much during World War II take centre stage. 

“I therefore encourage applications from veterans and anyone else who directly contributed to the war effort to be part of these events.”

More than £50,000 is being donated by Legion Scotland and the Scottish Government to help fund the events. 

Those wanting to take part in the VE Day 75 commemorations should email [email protected] or ring 0131 550 1562. 

Cover image: PA.