Friday 8th May marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the end of World War Two in Europe. However you choose to mark the occasion, Buckinghamshire Libraries have so many ways for you to explore the past and find out more about the first VE day back in 1945.
As we approach VE75 day why not read about the events on the very first VE day in Times Digital Archive? You can access this from home with your library card. Read the text of Churchill’s speech proclaiming the end of hostilities or King George V’s broadcast to the nation. You can also read accounts of the first VE day in C19th British Library newspapers which contains some local newspapers covering up until the 1950s. In Tamworth VE day was marked by “Joyous crowds, colourful streets and happy entertainment”. In Cheltenham the churches were thronged. Sadly in Hull they recorded the torpedoing of the local stam ship Avondale on surrender day.
When was the phrase “VE Day first used? Find out from the Oxford English Dictionary online. Other words added in 1945 include A-bomb and nucleonics and more surprisingly perhaps lurex, espresso and mugger.
As we take our daily exercise in the local area, have you looked at a local war memorial and wondered about the names? Use the Ancestry genealogical database (currently available from home free with your library card) to look at the UK Army Role of Honour. You can also research British Prisoners of War. If you live in an older property discover who lived there from the 1939 register, a list of inhabitants of all households in England and Wales, taken just before the outbreak of war and used to allocate ration cards. Find where your grandparents or great-grandparents lived back then. Was Grandmother carrying out “unpaid domestic duties” – the term for what later was more commonly referred to as housewife - or was she perhaps a nurse or a telephonist?
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography covers the famous (and infamous) who impacted on Britain in war time – Churchill and Turing to Lord HawHaw, Violette Szabo to Diana Mosley.
With Naxos Music Library you can listen to music of the period – Glenn Miller, Vera Lynn, the Andrews Sisters and more.
If you are home schooling, use Britannica Online to learn about the history of the period. Its junior and student sections are ideal for supporting primary and secondary school age students.
Discover all these amazing resources and more on our A-Z list.
Explore VE Day with our eLibrary
Our eBooks have a great selection of fiction and non-fiction works relating to this historic period for children and adults alike.
If you prefer to listen to your stories or history then our eAudiobook collection is for you.
Are magazines your cup of tea? This month the following eMagazines have VE Day commemoration special editions:
- The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies has a blog with information about VE day in Buckinghamshire. Visit their blog
- Bombs over Bucks is an interactive map showing where bombs were dropped on the county during the war
- Celebrate VE Day at home with Bletchley Park, home of the famous code breakers that helped win the war.
- Discover wartime locations in Buckinghamshire.
- Find out how VE75 Day is being marked on The British Legion's website.
- Explore the Imperial War Museum’s resources about VE Day.
- Find out about the Great British Bunting event.
- The National Archives at Kew are making their digital records available on their website free of charge for as long as the Kew site is closed to visitors.