Former Defence Minister Philip Dunne is encouraging Second World War veterans to register to take part in the national commemorations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe) and VJ Day (Victory over Japan).
A special programme of events marking VE 75 will take place over the Early May Bank Holiday 2020, with the Bank Holiday having been moved this year to Friday 8th May to help mark the occasion.
The Royal British Legion will host 750 veterans from across the UK, each accompanied by a nominated companion, to attend the VE 75 events programme in Central London over the period 8th - 9th May 2020. The invitation includes a fully funded plan for transport, meals and accommodation; veterans will travel to London courtesy of the National Rail Group on Thursday 7th May 2020 and returning home on Sunday 10th May 2020.
The Legion is encouraging applications from all of those who contributed to victory in Europe and over Japan 75 years ago, including spouses and civilians from reserved occupations across the UK and Commonwealth.
The UK’s VJ Day national event will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum on Saturday 15th August. The event will form part of a three-day public programme of events from 14th - 16th August, which will include a national service of Remembrance. The Legion is also funding the travel and accommodation costs for a series of tours for veterans of the Asia-Pacific campaign, to key commemorative and Commonwealth War Grave Commission sites across South and South East Asia. Travel and accommodation will also be provided for a nominated companion to accompany each veteran, and a comprehensive Legion care support group will be in place throughout the event programme to support veterans.
Mr Dunne said: “As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day and VJ Day, it is right that those who played such an important role in victory over fascism are central to the commemoration.
I hope any Shropshire veterans from the Second World War, however they contributed, will apply to take part in these commemorative events. I encourage constituents who know veterans of the war, whether friends or family, to tell them about this opportunity and help with the application process where needed.”
Registration can be completed online at https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events. Please note that the deadline for entries is 2nd March 2020.