RAF Red Arrows, RAF Scampton (Crown Copyright, 2007) [880]

VJ Day 75 Commemorations

Details of WWII Commemorations Around the UK

A series of events around the UK will mark the 75th anniversary of V-J Day, including the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also commissioned a video message involving heads of state from around the world.

The Friendship of Nations message will see British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and US President, Donald Trump, among others, commemorating the sacrifices made to end the war in the Pacific.

Their immeasurable sacrifice changed the course of history

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “On this 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, we pay tribute to the heroes deployed thousands of miles away in the mountains, islands and rainforests of Asia. Unable to celebrate the victory in Europe, and among the last to return home, today we recognise the bravery and ingenuity of those who, in the face of adversity, restored peace and prosperity to the world. Their immeasurable sacrifice changed the course of history and at today’s commemorations, we take the opportunity to say what should be said every day – thank you.”

As well as world leaders, members of the Royal Family will pay tribute at a series of events to mark the anniversary. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will lead a national moment of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. As part of the UK’s commemoration event, the Prime Minister will read the Exhortation ahead of a national two minute silence.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will feature in a special programme broadcast on BBC One, and pay tribute to all those who sacrificed so much during the Second World War.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will feature, alongside other veterans, on a number of large screens across the UK including the Piccadilly Curve and National Rail stations in a photomontage showing veterans during their time in service and as they are now.

In the first such flight since the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Red Arrows will conduct a specially designed UK wide flypast tribute over Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London with its path including The Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to three Burma Star recipients.

Plans for the day include:

  • The day will begin with a piper playing “When the Battle’s Over” at the Imperial War Museum’s HMS Belfast in London at sunrise as part of a tribute entitled ‘Waking Up to Peace’.
  • Military pipers will also be playing at dawn in India, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal.
  • The national service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire attended by veterans, descendants, the Prime Minister and Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
  • At 10:15 AM, the Friendship of Nations will be broadcast on BBC One and online featuring 10 world leaders paying tribute to all who served, including the UK Prime Minister.
  • His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, and the Prime Minister will lead a national moment of silence from the National Memorial Arboretum. The ceremony will involve Armed Forces musicians and a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
  • His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will appear in a photo montage series alongside other Second World War veterans. Each veteran is pictured with an image of themselves from their time in service in a touching tribute broadcast on large screens across the country marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.
  • The Red Arrows will conduct flypasts over Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and will conclude their tour of the UK over London.
  • VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute will be broadcast on BBC One between 2030 – 2200 with a tribute from His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge.

VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute

VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute will be broadcast on BBC One between 2030 and 2200 on Saturday 15 August.

Filmed at Horse Guards Parade, alongside veteran testimony His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will give an address which pays tribute to the veterans and the wartime generation, as the Nation honours, thanks and remembers all those who sacrificed so much during the Second World War.

The pre-recorded programme, developed with the Ministry of Defence and involving members of Armed Forces personnel, will highlight the role of the British military in 1945. It will include a host of famous faces reading tributes, military bands and dramatic visual projection.

VJ Day 75: Red Arrows Fly-Over Times

The timings of the Red Arrows are as follows, please contact sarah.east105@mod.co.uk for further information.

  • Edinburgh: 1130
  • Belfast: 1400
  • Cardiff: 1445
  • London: 1730

Source: Ministry of Defence.

Image: The Red Arrows performing a low level flypast over 04 threshold at RAF Scampton. (Crown Copyright, 2007)