Communities, families and friends to help spread the message to members of the Second World War Generation from the Commonwealth who are eligible to join the national commemorations of the 75th anniversaries of VE Day in May and VJ Day in August.

Millions of people from the Indian sub-continent, Africa and the Caribbean served with British and Allied Forces during the Second World War.

Veterans and spouses of Service personnel who served at that time as well as evacuees and civilians from reserved occupations across the Commonwealth are eligible to apply.

The Royal British Legion will host 750 members of the Second World War generation, each accompanied by a nominated companion, at the VE Day 75 events programme in London from 7-10 May 2020.

The deadline for applications has now been extended until Monday 2nd March.

To mark VJ Day 75 there will be a three-day public programme of events from 14 - 16 August, at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire. Travel and accommodation will be provided by the Legion for all those who wish to attend. 

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In partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL), the Legion will also be funding the travel and accommodation costs for a series of special tours for veterans of the Asia-Pacific campaign to key commemorative, and CWGC sites, across South and South East Asia. 

This will include visits to Mandalay and Yangon in Burma, Singapore, as well as Kanchanaburi and Bangkok in Thailand and a tours of Delhi and Imphal in India.

The Royal British Legion’s Assistant Director for Commemorative Events, Bob Gamble OBE said, “During the Second World War, millions of people from across the Commonwealth made an enormous and vital contribution to the Allied cause.

"We are encouraging applications from all of those who contributed to victory in Europe and Japan 75 years ago, including spouses and civilians from reserved occupations across the Commonwealth.

"We are thrilled at the response we have received so far but we still have space for more people to join in the commemorations. If you have a friend or a family member with a Second World War connection please get in touch with the Legion and find out how to be a part of the events.”
All those who contributed to Victory in Europe and Japan, including veterans from the UK, Allied Forces and the Commonwealth, former prisoners of war, descendants, child evacuees and those who served on the home front are invited to enter the ballot on the Legion’s website to join the commemorative events. 

Indian born WW2 veteran Sgt Mohammed Hussain, 96, served in the British Indian Army as part of the Italian Campaign with the 8th Indian Division during the Second World War, he was stationed near Florence when victory was declared. 

He said, "As fewer veterans remain each year, it is vital we leave a legacy of Remembrance for our next generation, to ensure that the memories of those who gave their blood and future for our freedom today are never forgotten. VE 75 may well be the last significant milestone for WW2 veterans to take part and I encourage everyone to make the effort and apply. 

"I am looking forward to attending The Royal British Legion's VE day events this May. I'll be there on behalf of friends, family and comrades who fell from all over the Commonwealth and feel proud to be representing them on the 75th anniversary"

All travel and accommodation costs will be funded by the Legion through its Libor grant provided by the Government. Accommodation for the VE Day 75 events is being provided at the Hard Rock Hotel in Marble Arch and will be for use exclusively by the Legion’s guests.

A care package providing support every step of the way will be in place throughout the national events in the UK, provided by The Royal British Legion’s welfare team.

Those interested in attending the events to commemorate VE Day and VJ Day are invited to register on The Royal British Legion’s website here