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VE Day and the Churchill Archives Centre

7th May 2020

Churchill’s speeches are the centrepiece of the VE anniversary commemorations taking place on 8 May 2020, a date which marks 75 years since Victory in Europe. Although the anniversary has been disrupted by the current Covid-19 pandemic, the BBC will be broadcasting Churchill’s full speech at 2.45pm on 8 May, and there will be a few socially-distanced events taking place (although not as many as originally planned).

The Archives centre at Churchill has the notes of the speech, photos of which are reproduced here with permission by Curtis Brown on behalf of the estate of Sir Winston Churchill. The centre and its staff have of course been supporting various events and initiatives around the anniversary by providing materials and expert knowledge.

Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, Allen Packwood said: “We knew the VE Day anniversary would be important but we could not have anticipated the added resonance given to it by the pandemic. Celebrating VE Day is a reminder that we have faced and overcome global crises before and that Covid-19 will eventually be consigned to history.”

The Archives Centre has also been running a competition for schoolchildren to submit their accounts of life in lockdown. These will be added to the archive to inform future study of the impact of the virus on our everyday lives. The winners will be announced on the Centre’s website in the near future.