CELEBRATIONS to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day will go ahead in Hampshire but they will be held online.

Hampshire County Council has confirmed that the authority will still mark the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) – the victory for Europe over Germany during the Second World War.

The news comes as mass gatherings have been banned as the country continues to fight Covid-19.

But the county council is now inviting residents to watch a specially prepared film which will be available on the county council website on May 8.

Councillor Andrew Joy, the executive member for communities, partnerships and external affairs at the county council, said: “Whilst we do not have the opportunity to gather together in the way we normally would, we, nevertheless, want to ensure we mark this important date; recognising the immense effort and courage of members of the Armed Forces during the Second World War in achieving victory in Europe, as well as in other conflicts across the world.”

Further details of the event will be published on the council website at the beginning of May, the authority said.

Announcing the news, Cllr Joy also stressed the importance of supporting vulnerable members of the community during the lockdown.

“This will apply to members of the Forces community as well, including veterans, and I would like to offer reassurance that many of the military charities and networks are still operating online and telephone support services during this time,” he added. 

Members of the Armed Forces community in need of support can access it via the Forces Connect app; the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA) Forcesline  (0800 731 4880) or live chat during office hours.

For more information about the county council VE Day celebrations go to hants.gov.uk

VE Day 75 community celebrations in Fordingbridge and Ringwood had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.