WW2: How did the British plan to celebrate VE Day?

Planning for peace

In spring 1945, war with Germany was drawing to a close.

While the British government was dealing with a country in the grip of rationing and cities ravaged by bombs, some ministers had to turn their thoughts to how people could celebrate victory after six years of war.

Enter the ‘Office Committee for the Coordination of Departmental Action on the End of Hostilities in Europe.’

The men from the ministry

Behind the scenes a group of men were quietly laying the groundwork for the country's celebrations.

Cabinet Secretary Edward Bridges, the man in charge of the committee for VE day

The man in charge of the committee was Cabinet Secretary Edward Bridges, tasked with putting plans in place for celebrations and ensuring the country kept running.

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HEAR: The sounds of VE Day

Experience the atmosphere of VE Day for yourself by clicking the play button below.

Letting loose in London

Although parades and street parties took place across the UK, the largest events were held in London. Here, celebrations were at their most raucous as tens of thousand of revellers partied into the night.

Crowds gathering in London on VE day

1/8: Many took early trains to join the throng in the capital. Huge crowds gathered in Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and outside Buckingham Palace.

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Learn more about this topic:

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WW2: "Tell Me Your Secrets" - An interactive graphic novel