VE Day 75 gathers apace

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Pipe Major Robert 'Rob' Roy, MBE, DCM – The Piper of Tobruk.
Pipe Major Robert 'Rob' Roy, MBE, DCM – The Piper of Tobruk.
Pipe Major Robert 'Rob' Roy, MBE, DCM – The Piper of Tobruk.
Pipe Major Robert ‘Rob’ Roy, MBE, DCM – The Piper of Tobruk.

Hundreds of pipers have registered so far to participate in the United Kingdom’s VE Day 75 commemorations next year. May 8, 2020 has been designated a public holiday in the UK to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

At 3.00pm local time, Pipe Major William Robb’s evergreen 3/4 retreat march, When the Battle’s Over will sound around the country. In addition, several pipers in Germany and Poland intend to play at some of the war’s infamous concentration camp sites such as Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenvald, Auschwitz- Birkenua and Treblinka.

A pipe tune, right (click to enlarge), has been written – VE 75 Years – and it will be played at 3.00pm by pipers at the summit of the UK’s highest peaks: Ben Nevis (Scotland), Mount Snowdon (Wales), Scafell Pike (England) and Slieve Donard (Northern Ireland).

VE Day logo

The tune is a 6/8 march that has been composed by Roger Bayes of the City of Norwich Pipe Band

Organiser, Bruno Peek, said: “VE Day 75 follows logically from last year’s global event that marked the centenary of the end of the First World War. We are again asking pipers to play at suitable locations of their choice, such as outside churches, cathedrals, in market squares and on high streets, in valleys, on town and village greens and onboard ships at sea.

Bruno Peek.
Bruno Peek.

“For example, in my own town of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Alasdair McClymont is playing Battle’s O’er and VE 75 Years from the top of Nelson’s Monument with other pipers undertaking similar at at hospital nearby.”

Those participating can obtain a certificate in recognition from the event website which they can then print, frame and keep as a permanent reminder of their involvement.

Unlike last years’s event, The National Piping Centre is not assisting with co-ordination of the 2020 event. Anyone who wishes to participate should go to the official website www.veday75.org. Enquiries should be direct to Bruno Peek at: brunopeek@mac.com