Bedford’s VE Day commemorations postponed until August

VE Day

Commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day in Bedford have been postponed until August, in line with national guidance around the coronavirus pandemic.

Events were due to take place on Friday 8 May, but the decision has been taken to protect the health and wellbeing of the public, organisers, alongside military personnel and veterans.

The Bedford Branch of Royal British Legion (RBL), alongside partners including Bedford Borough Council have been planning commemoration events to mark 75 years since the end of war in Europe.

Despite the postponement, on Friday 8 May, everyone is invited to join in a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”.

BBC One will be featuring the singalong as part of their VE Day broadcast, at 9pm on the bank holiday Friday.

103-year-old Dame Vera Lynn

Locally, here in Bedford Borough the Union Flag will be flying at Borough Hall to mark the occasion.

The RBL and Bedford Borough Council are hoping to be able to hold commemoration events for both VJ Day and VE Day on the weekend of 15 – 16 August.

Robin Thomas from the Bedford Royal British Legion said, “We are very disappointed that we are not able to mark VE Day in Bedford Borough in the way that we had planned.

“I hope that the public will understand why we have taken this decision; these events take organisation and work, and with the ongoing uncertainty of how long this may last and the vital need to keep people safe, we feel this is the right decision.”

Mayor Dave Hodgson said, “It is very sad that we will not be able to mark this important anniversary of the end of war in Europe, but as a Council we wholly support the Royal British Legion locally in the decision to postpone these events.

“The health and welfare of participants and spectators must always come first. I look forward to continuing to work with them and, if the national and international situations allow, hold events in August to mark both VJ Day and commemorate the end of war in Europe.”

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