VE Day 75: Aylesbury set for household tea parties bathed in red, white and blue
Aylesbury is poised to honour the memory of those who sacrificed so much during the Second World War by decorating their houses in red, white and blue and having family garden picnics.
Tomorrow will mark 75 years since victory in Europe on Tuesday, 8 May 1945, when Germany surrendered following the loss of the Battle of Berlin to the Russian army. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had committed suicide eight days earlier, on 30 April, by shooting himself in the head.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the commemorations that were originally planned by The Royal British Legion and others have had to be cancelled, with the intention now to hold them on VJ Day on 15 August.
Barbara Grant, Chair of The Royal British Legion Aylesbury branch, told The Bucks Herald: “We were going to have a street party in the High Street, all the shops were involved and our centre but obviously that's not happening now, so we're just asking people to decorate their houses and have a little tea party in their front garden if they can so that they're still isolating but maybe they can experience it over their garden walls.”
Aylesbury Town Council are working alongside Father Doug from St Mary’s Church and GLX Productions to bathe the church in red, white and blue and lighting it up between 8:30pm – 10pm on Friday 8 May.
Aylesbury Town Council provided the following statement: “On a day that the nation was going to stand together, once again, to celebrate Victory in Europe, 75 years after the eventful day that brought an end to WWII. Instead, we are fighting a different world-wide war against an unseen enemy, one that is once again testing the strength of the nation's resolve. We hope that many of you will still show your respects to our fallen heroes on Friday, by decorating your front gardens and celebrating by your homes for a street party with a difference – one where we don’t hug and share food and drinks – but one where we smile, dance, laugh and chat following social distancing guide lines. Knowing that one day soon, we too will celebrate the end of this current fight.
The Second War World, which lasted for six years and one day (1 Sept 1939 - 2 Sept 1945), is the most devastating man-made human catastrophe in our history, with approximately 70 million people losing their lives across the globe.
The war was bleakly unique in that around 75% of the deaths were civilians, mostly Russians and Chinese, and 75% of the total losses came on the side of the eventual victors. In the murderous fighting on the eastern front for example, seven Russians died for every German soldier killed.
Though the writing had been on the wall when the German army was halted at the gates of Moscow in November 1941, the road to defeat for Hitler truly began between October-December 1942 with the British victory at El Alamein in Egypt coinciding with the annihilation of the German 6th Army by the Russians in Stalingrad.
Britain lost approximately 400,000 men, women and children during the Second World War, about 10% of which were civilians killed during the Blitz – the German bombing campaign against Britain between September 1940 – May 1941.
You can find out more about VE Day below: