A chance to join in Horncastle’s VE day commemorations

70th anniversary of VE Day
70th anniversary of VE Day

People living in Horncastle have been urged to join in the town’s VE Day commemorations.

The programme - marking the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe at the end of the Second World War - starts on Friday May 8 with a short outdoor service at the War Memorial Centre (2.50pm).

The service will be led by the Rev Charles Patrick and a two minutes silence will be observed at 3pm.

At 9pm, there will be a ceremony to mark the official lighting of the Horncastle Beacon on The Wong. The beacon will be lit at 9.32pm after a trumpet fanfare and various tributes. Refreshments will be available.

On Saturday May 9, there will be a tea and cakes afternoon at Stanhope Hall (4-6pm) featuring dancing to 40s-style music. Advance tickets (£2) from the Music Shop in The Bull Ring.

On Sunday May 10, the Royal British Legion will hold an art competition at Stanhope Hall from 1pm to 4pm.

Another highlight of the afternoon promises to be fly past of the town by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Dakota. Courtesy of RAF Coningsby, that is due to happen around 2.30pm.

County Councillor Bill Aron said: “Everyone has been so supportive. Even though we have only had the details for the last few days, we have put together a programme for the whole weekend.” With events taking place nationally and locally, now’s a good time to top up ​​your ​​VE Day​ ​​​history:

Following Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to allied forces at 2.41pm on 7 May 1945.

Active operations by the German forces ceased at 11.01pm on 8 May.

At 3pm on 8 May, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation, declaring the war to be over.

The Second World War lasted 6 years and 1 day in total, from 1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945.

The Second World War in Europe saw approximately 382,700 British service personnel and 67,100 civilians killed.

Effects of the war remained in Britain as rationing continued until July 1954 with bacon and meat being the last to go.

After the war, Germany was divided into 4 zones: British, French, American (western zone) and Russian.

British and Commonwealth Armed Forces continued fighting in Burma, Singapore and Thailand for a further three years until Japan’s surrender.