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Council encourages residents to celebrate VE Day at home

Swindon Borough Council is asking its residents to pay tribute to the sacrifice and service of the Second World War generation from the comfort of their own homes.

Published: Monday, 4th May 2020

On 8 May the nation will mark the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

In line with government guidance, the Council has postponed all VE Day events and is actively discouraging residents from visiting Swindon’s Cenotaph and other memorials across the borough.

Residents must continue to adhere to social distancing and travel guidance throughout the day and cancel or postpone any street party celebrations that have been previously arranged.

Despite the measures in place, there are still many ways residents can get involved in the celebrations at home.

The Government and English Heritage, among others, have created toolkits and party packs to help the public mark the day. The packs contain printable bunting and posters, 1940s recipe ideas, playlists from the era, colouring work sheets for kids and dance lessons. Find out more at

As part of an initiative between the Government and Ancestry, from Monday, 4 May to Sunday, 10 May, will be available to the public free of charge. It is hoped that this will enable families to connect with their past and discover their families connections to the Second World War.

At 11am on VE Day (8 May), Swindon residents are encouraged to join the nation and observe a two minute silence to honour those who served and sacrificed their lives during the war.

Councillor Matthew Courtliff, Swindon Borough Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “Despite being apart, the nation will come together on 8 May to commemorate those who fought and served during the Second World War.

“This year it is more important than ever to learn from the experiences of the Second World War generation and draw strength from their resilience.

“In many ways we find ourselves facing similar difficulties to our ancestors, but much like them we continue to put on a united front.

“I would encourage everybody to use the day to reflect not only on those who came before us, but on those who have lost their lives over recent months to COVID-19 and those who continue to serve our community.

“For them we must stay indoors and follow government guidance.”

For the latest advice on VE Day visit the Government website.

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