Copyright British Pathe Limited used with permission

8th May 1945

V-E (Victory in Europe) Day remained in the memory of all those who witnessed it - an end to nearly six years of a war that had cost the lives of millions; had destroyed homes, families, and cities; and had brought huge suffering and privations.

Winston Churchill was the man of the hour - Britain’s Prime Minister had been a major driving force behind the Allies’ victory over Nazi Germany and, now that peace had come, the British people were keen to celebrate it with him.

At 3pm on V-E Day, Churchill made a national radio broadcast.

In it, he announced the welcome news that the war had ended in Europe - the celebrations continued well into the night.

The largest crowds in Britain were in the capital, but people all around the country took part in the parties, singing and dancing. Many bonfires and fireworks were lit to mark the occasion.

The joy of the day broke down normal social conventions, and people spoke to and embraced those whom they had never met before. Music was provided by gramophones, accordions and barrel organs, and revellers sang and danced to the popular tunes of the day. Licensing hours were extended so that people could toast the end of the war with a drink (or two), and dance halls stayed open until midnight.

SASRA will be commemorating V-E Day with an event we are calling “peace2020” -

  • A book on SASRA in the Second World War
  • Church lunches around the country on V-E Day or "Peace Sunday "(May 10th 2020) with a V-E Day theme (SASRA will provide authentic recipes and sheet music for the chefs and musicians amongst you!) to help churches to engage with their surrounding communities.
  • A daily devotional called Forty Days To Peace, covering the period from April 1st 2020 to May 10th 2020.

If you would like to register an early interest in receiving free copies of the devotional, holding a church lunch on the 10th May 2020, or buying copies of “SASRA in the Second World War”, please email us on