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75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE 75)

In 2020 we will be asking the nation to remember the impact that leaving, missing and returning home has on service men and women & their loved ones – then and now. The commemorations for both VE and VJ Day will be the central part of our national remembrance and will bring home the scale of service and sacrifice made by men and women of the Second World War generation.

A special programme of events marking VE 75 will take place over the Early May Bank Holiday 2020 in Central London and has been designed to be of particular interest to all from the Second World War generation who served at home and overseas across the European theatre. Similar commemorations are expected to be reflected in communities across the nation. 

We are particularly pleased to announce that we plan to host 750 Second World War generation from across the UK, each accompanied by a nominated companion, to attend the VE 75 events programme in Central London over the period 8-9 May 2020.  Our invitation includes a fully funded plan for transport, meals and accommodation; travel to London will be courtesy of the National Rail Group on Thursday 7 May 2020 and returning home on Sunday 10 May 2020. 

We encourage applications from all of those who contributed to victory in Europe 75 years ago, including spouses and civilians from reserved occupations across the UK and Commonwealth.

Apply now for a place on the full weekend event

We encourage applications from all of those who contributed to victory in Europe 75 years ago, including spouses and civilians from reserved occupations across the UK and Commonwealth.

Please read below for more information and FAQs about the event. 

Apply now - Full weekend event

Register you interest for Friday 8 May event only

Due to popular demand, we are offering Second World War generation (including spouses and civilians from reserved occupations across the UK and Commonwealth) the opportunity to attend the Friday 8 May event only. 

Full details of the itinerary for the programme will be released in due course.

Register your interest - Friday 8 May only

Find out more

Take a look at our general FAQs below for further information on the three-day event. For any other queries, please call us on 0203 053 7627 to speak to a member of our team. 

You can also download our full information sheet to find out more about eligibility and logistics.  

Who can apply?

Those who we define as Second World War generation eligible for the programme include:

  • Service personnel who served under the Crown, this includes Dominion and Empire (now Commonwealth) forces, as well as foreign forces under British command such as the Polish Army of the West and the French Resistance.
  • Service must have been in the European theatre between 1939 and 1945, this will include the Mediterranean, North and East African, and Middle East theatres.
  • The spouses of service personnel who served in the above theatres
  • People who were child evacuees during the war.
  • Those who served on the Home Front, for example as Land Girls, Bevin Boys, Home Guard, Women’s Timber Corps, and the like, either as civilians in reserved occupations or with the Armed Forces.
  • Men and women who served in the emergency services.

How to apply?

Please note that the deadline for entries is 9 March 2020.

Logistics

 

Participants will travel to London via train from their local station. If you think you may find it difficult to get to your local station, the Legion will do our utmost to provide the appropriate support.  When in London, the entire Second World War generation group will be accommodated at the Hard Rock Hotel, Marble Arch, and will be transported around the various event programme sites via coach.

All hotel rooms can accommodate wheelchairs and walking aids. If you or your companion are unable to walk unaided, please let us know on the booking form and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.  In support of your stay in London, the Legion will provide an on-site and highly experienced Care capability.  It is vital that you let us know in advance about any medical provisions we should make in order to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

 


Still got a question?

Read our FAQs below to find out more, or download our full FAQs

Why are you doing this?

In 2020 we will be asking the nation to remember the impact that leaving, missing and returning home has on service men and women & their loved ones – then and now. The commemorations for both VE and VJ Day will be the central part of our national remembrance and will bring home the scale of service and sacrifice made by men and women of the Second World War generation.

How is the trip being paid for?

All costs related to travel and accommodation will be met by the Legion.

What is the application process?

  1. Complete this application form to apply for a place by March 2020. 
  2. Successful applicants will be contacted by the Legion after the closing date to ensure they are fit enough to travel and that any additional needs that they have can be accommodated.
  3. Once declared fit enough to travel, the applicant has a confirmed place in the VE day commemorations.

What is the eligibility criteria?

We are inviting applications from all parts of the UK and in particular, the following categories:

  • Service personnel who served under the Crown, this includes Dominion and Empire (now Commonwealth) forces, as well as foreign forces under British command such as the Polish Army of the West and the French Resistance.
  • Service must have been in the European theatre between 1939 and 1945, this will include the Mediterranean, North African, and Middle East theatres.
  • The spouses of service personnel who served in the above theatres.
  • People who were child evacuees during the war.
  • Those who served on the Home Front, for example as Land Girls, Bevin Boys, Home Guard, Women’s Timber Corps, and the like, either as civilians in reserved occupations or with the Armed Forces.
  • Men and women who served in the emergency services.

What are the dates of the commemorations?

Participants will arrive in London on 7 May and depart on 10 May. Some passengers who live further away may return later on 11 May for a more comfortable journey home.

What is the itinerary?

Most participants will start arriving into London on the 7 May via train from a local station. Once in London, they will be taken to the Hard Rock Hotel, Marble Arch, where they will be accommodated for the duration.

Full details of the itinerary for the programme will be released in due course.

What does the funding cover exactly?

All passengers fulfilling the criteria above are eligible for funding. Under the scheme, each participant can bring one companion who will also be fully funded.

From arrival on 7 May, until departure on Sunday 10 May, all meals will be provided for all participants. Spending money and drinks are not included so it is advised that you do bring some money to spend with you.

Who can accompany me?

Funding is available for one companion to accompany the participant during the VE commemorations.

These companions are expected to be able bodied, fit enough to push a wheelchair if required, support the Second World War generation with any personal hygiene or similar needs. In the unlikely event that the veteran is hospitalised, companions would be expected to stay with the veteran. Be assured that the Legion will maintain duty of care for the veteran in this instance and will remain responsible for providing full logistical support for the veteran and their companion in returning home safely.

Can additional family members travel with me?

Spaces are available only to one participant plus companion.

However additional family members can make their own independent travel to London if they wish to. If there are any public events that family members can participate in, we will ensure that details are available.

I have accessibility issues; can I request a special room?

As part of the pre travel check, our welfare teams will ascertain your additional needs via an initial contact call, and then we will endeavour to place you in the most suitable rooms with the correct equipment.

I have longstanding health issues/mobility issues; can I still apply?

Yes of course. The welfare call will assess any additional needs you may have and we will ensure that the Legion is able to meet your care needs to make this trip a memorable experience for you and your companion.

How will I get to London?

We have engaged with Train Operating Companies to provide free travel for all participants.

If we are able to confirm for you, you will be asked for your nearest train station, and rail staff will assist you with boarding. Once you arrive into London RBL staff will meet you off the train and you will be taken to your hotel.

Join us to commemorate VE Day 75

We have a limited number of places

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