Beacon lit at Coombe Hill as Bucks marks VE Day anniversary

VE Day ceremony at Coombe Hill
VE Day ceremony at Coombe Hill

A flaming ‘V’ for Victory lit up the Vale night sky on Friday when Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher set a celebratory beacon alight atop Coombe Hill.

The county’s Lord Lieutenant took his cue from the Queen, who lit the first beacon outside Windsor Castle at 9.30pm to start a chain of more than 100 beacons across the country marking the 70th anniversary of VE Day, which celebrated an end to the Second World War in Europe.

VE Day ceremony at Coombe Hill

VE Day ceremony at Coombe Hill

Joining him in the evening breeze after a brief rain shower were a group of around 60 civic guests and armed forces representatives from across the county.

Sir Henry said: ‘​It’s important that we remember historic events such as this; our armed forces defended our country against Nazi oppression 70 years ago to preserve the freedoms we now accept as everyday life today.’

The beacon lighting followed an act of remembrance on the steps of Coombe Hill’s War memorial, at which Buckinghamshire County Council chairman Zahir Mohammed read a tribute to those who gave their lives and those wounded in conflict.

Behind a parade of Royal British Legion (RBL) standard bearers, Buckinghamshire’s RBL Vice-Chairman Bob Higgins read an exhortation and bugler Max Farmer played the Last Post, followed after a brief silence by the Reveille and a voluntary.

VE Day ceremony at Coombe Hill

VE Day ceremony at Coombe Hill

The chairman, Petty Officer Cadet Harriet Hulland and CSM Cadet Georgie James then joined Sir Henry to light the beacon at 9.32pm.

VE Day ceremony at Coombe Hill

VE Day ceremony at Coombe Hill