Join forces museums online for a virtual VE Day celebration

The three historical institutions of the British Forces invite the public to ‘stand with your services’ and join the nation in celebrating 75 years since VE Day on May 8.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy, National Army Museum and Royal Ai Force Museum are hosting their first tri-service celebration with the Virtual VE Da7 75 Festival taking place online from Thursday, May 7 to Saturday, May 9 inclusive.

The service museums encourage members of the public to come together, while staying at home, in conjunction with the Government’s communications to ‘stay home and save lives’.

The virtual programme kicks off on Thursday, May 7, the date of Germany’s unconditional surrender, with ‘vying for victory: Britain’s Navy, Army and Air Force in myth and memory’.

Chaired by historian and broadcaster, James Holland, this will see each museum fight their corner, discussing the navy, army and RAF’s respective roles during the closing stages of the war.

This free event will be broadcast on YouTube at 5pm, followed by a live Q&A on Crowdcast at 7pm.

On Friday, May 8, members of the public are invited to get their gardens and homes decorated and prepare for a VE Day party.

Highlights will include make do an men sessions, how to dig for victory and the BBC broadcasting Winston Churchill’s famous victory speech at 3pm.

Victory celebrations commence at 4pm with a live swing dance class followed by a sing-along concert with the Bluebird Belles.

Saturday, May 9 brings living history to living rooms with re-enactors sharing stories from real service personnel during the second world war.

Dr Peter Johnston takes a live webinar with historian Dr Jonathan Fennell on ‘fighting the people’s war’, and an immersive walk-through of HMS Alliance will provide an insight into the experience of submariners as the rest of Europe celebrated.

The museums are encouraging those joining to share pictures on social media with the hashtag#standwithyourservices.