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7 May 2020: Commissioner reflects on 75th anniversary of VE Day

07 May 2020

In these unprecedented times, as we fight to defeat COVID-19, we can learn and be encouraged by past times of national challenges overcome.

As we approach a moment of remembrance and celebration recognising the 75th Anniversary of VE Day and that moment when, after a period of dark, struggle and sacrifice, the ‘Lights went on again’, we can toast those who went before and reinforce our own determination today to be united, all our communities, every man, woman and child, in a common purpose to find a new, better and safer future.

I will be remembering family and colleagues who had first hand experiences of the battles 75 years ago and the lives lost, lives changed and new hopes and beginnings unleashed:

  • My Mother, Lawrie, served in the WRNS on a hostilities only engagement as a Wren Specialist MT Driver. She worked in the docks, headquarters and everywhere her passengers or the freight needed to be.
  • My uncle, John, served in the Fleet Air Arm, training in Canada before returning to Squadron duties on the south coast. On VE Day, appointed at that time to 759 Sqn, he was ferrying aircraft at Fleetlands.
  • My Father-in-Law, Tony, joined the Royal Navy in January 1945 and on VE Day was serving onboard HMS Frobisher, on that day in the Firth of Forth. He is now 93 years of age and retired as a Rear Admiral after a distinguished career, receiving a CB for his work as ACNS (Operations) in 1982.

I toast all those who are celebrating and commemorating, those still alive who lived through VE Day, and those who were lost along the way and have left since.

And in celebrating this in our communities by being able to see each other and raise a glass from a safe distance, can I encourage us all to stay safe as part of our contribution to the journey still ahead towards a safer future, when I look forward to more celebrations.

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