Veterans join children’s party and beacon is lit to mark VE Day anniversary

Youngsters at the street party in Havant

Youngsters at the street party in Havant

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  • Students and veterans mark VE Day with different celebrations
  • School children in Havant went back in time and met with veterans
  • A beacon was also lit on Fort Widley along with 100 others across the country
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VETERANS, pupils and teachers gathered together to mark a significant anniversary in British history.

Seventy years after victory in Europe was declared Front Lawn Primary Academy in Havant hosted a vintage street party.

Dave Williams fires up the engine to the 25 pounder self-propelled Sexton gun during the VE DAy anniversary event at Fort Nelson. Ref 150857-3.

Dave Williams fires up the engine to the 25 pounder self-propelled Sexton gun during the VE DAy anniversary event at Fort Nelson. Ref 150857-3.

Children and teachers dressed up as evacuees, soldiers and housewives to sing wartime songs, eat cake and listen to veterans tell their stories.

One of those attending the event was chairman of the Havant Royal British Legion Dave Argue, 76.

He said: ‘I was over the moon to be invited it makes it all worthwhile.

‘To see the children learning about what we did and to be at the street party, I have never been so 
emotional.’

Just to remember that people gave so much so we could have today.

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Steven Wylie

The street party gave the school the chance to celebrate VE Day as a community and thank those that fought.

Year 6 pupil at the school Leilani Sparkes said: ‘If it wasn’t for the soldiers then we wouldn’t be here, it was nice to meet the 
veterans.’

Others celebrated the day by visiting Fort Nelson, Fareham where uniformed gun crews from Ubique Right of the Line fired a 25 pounder self-propelled gun.

A round was fired at 3pm to mark the start and the finish of the national two-minute silence.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Steven Wylie braves the elements to light the VE Day anniversary beacon. Ref 150860-1.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Steven Wylie braves the elements to light the VE Day anniversary beacon. Ref 150860-1.

Operations manager Nigel Hosier said: ‘We have a duty as a national museum to be part of the anniversary.’

Those who attended the event thought about loved ones who were in the armed forces.

Veterans and their loved ones also gathered at Fort Widley, on Portsdown Hill, last night to see a beacon lit.

It was one of 100 beacons lit across the country to commemorate the end of the Second World War.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Steven Wylie attended the event along with a bugler who played The Last 
Post. The mayor said: ‘The beacon being lit is a very important and significant event.

‘Just to remember that people gave so much so we could have today. It is something to celebrate.

‘It is great that the beacon will be a powerful symbol of those who died 70 years ago.’

A similar ceremony was held at the Round Tower, in Old Portsmouth, where a second beacon was 
lit.

* Picture: A youngster dressed up as a soldier throws a salute as children at Front Lawn Primary Academy in Havant held a vintage street party to learn about VE Day.

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