May 2020 Bank Holiday Moved To Mark 75th Anniversary Of VE Day

The May 2020 bank holiday is being moved to enable people to pay tribute to those who served in one of the most significant events in our country’s history, the Business Secretary announced.

The occasion will remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces personnel; those who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the Home Front.

It will also mark the Allies’ victory in 1945.

Greg Clark said: "VE Day marked an historic moment in not only our nation’s, but the world’s history and it is important that we commemorate this great occasion on its 75th anniversary. Honouring those who did their duty – whether on the battlefields of Europe or through their efforts and sacrifices here at home.

"Moving next year’s early May bank holiday to VE Day itself is a right and fitting tribute.

"It will ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to remember and honour our heroes of the Second World War and reflect on the sacrifices of a generation," he added.

VE Day, also known as Victory in Europe Day, was first celebrated on 8 May 1945 when Allied Forces formally accepted Germany’s surrender.

    	VE Day celebrations on Bay Street in Toronto Canada 1945 SOURCE City of Toronto Archives
    VE Day celebrations on Bay Street in Toronto, Canada (Picture: City of Toronto Archives).

    Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: "As we’ve seen over the past week with the D-Day commemorations, the British people truly appreciate the sacrifice made by those who fought for our freedom throughout the Second World War.

    "Moving next year’s Bank Holiday will give us the opportunity to come together to remember and honour those who gave so much to secure our freedom and liberty."

    The commemorative events that will take place over the three-day weekend across the country will include the Nation’s Toast, where over 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons to raise a glass to the heroes of the Second World War, bagpipers playing at the top of the four highest peaks in the UK and a special event for bells in churches and cathedrals across the country.