Virtual service to mark VE Day in Sidmouth

Saxophonist Christine Hardy Picture: Tony Velterop

Saxophonist Christine Hardy Picture: Tony Velterop - Credit: Archant

A virtual service to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day will be held to remember the huge debt of gratitude owed to the generation that served in the Second World War.

Sidmouth Parish Church will hold the commemoration around the town’s war memorial which residents have been asked to tune into at around 10.50am next Friday, May 8.

It will last 20 minutes and incorporate a two minutes’ silence.

Brian Golding, churchwarden at Sidmouth Parish Church, said: “Great plans were made, nationally and locally, to remember this event with processions, street parties and church services.

“While COVID-19 has caused the abandonment of these, it is important we still recall the enormous debt of gratitude we owe to the generation that served in combat and on the home front during the Second World War, and give thanks to those who gave so much to secure peace, freedom and prosperity in Europe.

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“Nationally, the commemoration will start with a two-minute silence at 11am.

“At 3pm, people all around the country will raise a glass to ‘toast the heroes’.

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“Then at 9pm, at the time of George VI’s announcement in 1945, BBC1 will broadcast a message from the Queen, followed by a ‘singalong’ including We’ll Meet Again.

“We encourage local people to dress their homes appropriately and to take part in these national events from home.”

He added: “Here in Sidmouth, there will be many who recall that day in 1945, and we have our share of the heroes, so keeping something local seemed important, even if we could no longer have our street parties.

“Our war memorial records those who did not return and is the traditional place where we meet to remember their sacrifice.

“So, when asked whether the churches could offer something local, I thought that an online act of remembrance set around the war memorial might be appreciated by people here.”

Visit to tune into the virtual service, which will be shown on YouTube and be linked to several websites including the area’s Church of England websites.

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