May the 8th 2020 marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Due to current pandemic, many events have had to be cancelled or postponed, but we will be using our digital channels to mark the anniversary in a very 21st Century fashion, honouring the people who fought for the freedom we enjoy today.
Our contribution to the festivities involves our museums, which, although closed at the moment, have been working hard to prepare an online mini exhibition virtually showcasing one object per day from our collections, all related to the Second World War in Calderdale.
Objects that we have featured include everything from gas masks, photographs
and food packaging, to uniforms and helmets – all giving a glimpse of what life
was like during wartime in this region. Featured on the right here is a Civil
Defence Air Raid Warden’s Tunic, and just below is a model tank of The 8th
Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (the battalion Captain Tom Moore
initially served in).
Images of the items are being posted at 11am each day up to the anniversary, from the @BankfieldMuseum twitter account. On Friday 8 May, a new web page will launch with all the photos and further information about each object.
Listen out for John Spencer, our Military Curator at Bankfield Museum, who will be on Radio Leeds on Saturday 9th May as part of their VE Day coverage.
Our Libraries Service has been recommending books about the War all
week. These are all available to borrow on Calderdale Digital:
• SPITFIRE: The Autobiography, by Jon E Lewis
• Gi Brides: The War-Time Girls Who Crossed The Atlantic For Love
• The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
• The Second World War, by Gordon Corrigan
• Effie’s War, by Philip Paris
• World War Two Collection, including The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tip, An Elephant In The Garden & Little Manfred by Michael Morpurgo
There will be a national two minute silence at 11am on Friday 8 May. Following the two minute silence, the Royal British Legion is hosting a VE Day 75 livestream, sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War, whilst also recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today. This is available to watch at
And finally, to mark this historic occasion, Her Majesty the Queen will send a message to the nation at 9pm, the time her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945. This will then be followed by a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’, with people encouraged to open their doors and join in with this shared moment of celebration. Lyrics are available on The Royal British Legion’s website https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-singalong