Sir Winston Churchill V Sign 1954 CREDIT PA
VE Day

Winston Churchill’s VE Day Speech In Full

Churchill's stirring words to cheering crowds in Whitehall

Sir Winston Churchill V Sign 1954 CREDIT PA

Prime Minister Winston Churchill officially announced the end of the Second World War at 3pm on May 8, 1945.

Taking to the airwaves, he announced to the people of Britain that Nazi Germany had surrendered to the Allied forces and he declared the historic moment as Victory in Europe Day, which was later to become VE Day.

It is, however, his later speech to cheering crowds, after he made his way down Whitehall and on to the balcony of the Ministry of Health, which had been draped in Union Flags, that stirred the nation.

Crowds had massed in Trafalgar Square and up The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where Churchill would that day also join King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on the palace balcony in front cheering masses.

Churchill summed up the feeling of the nation, telling the nation:

“My dear friends, this is your hour.”

He added: “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.”

Picture: Winston Churchill statue at the Guildhall Yard by IR Stone / Shutterstock

Picture: Winston Churchill statue at the Guildhall Yard by IR Stone /  Shutterstock

Here is Winston Churchill’s speech from Whitehall in full:

“God bless you all. 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.

“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.’

"Now we have emerged from one deadly struggle-a terrible foe has been cast on the ground and awaits our judgment and our mercy.

“But there is another foe who occupies large portions of the British Empire, a foe stained with cruelty and greed - the Japanese. I rejoice we can all take a night off today and another day tomorrow.

“Tomorrow our great Russian allies will also be celebrating victory and after that we must begin the task of rebuilding our hearth and homes, doing our utmost to make this country a land in which all have a chance, in which all have a duty, and we must turn ourselves to fulfill our duty to our own countrymen, and to our gallant allies of the United States who were so foully and treacherously attacked by Japan.

“We will go hand and hand with them.

"Even if it is a hard struggle we will not be the ones who will fail.”