Daily Mail’s VE Day flypast will go over Care for Veterans home, NHS hospital and Colonel Tom Moore’s house to salute Britain’s war heroes
- Our Spitfire Mk IX was donated by Goodwood-based Boultbee Spitfire Academy
- It will fly in tribute to the lot of them and we asked for suggestions for a flypast
- There will be a flypast for the Care For Veterans home in Worthing, West Sussex
- Among its residents are several war veterans including 96-year-old Len Gibbon
- And how could our Spitfire take to the skies without nod to Colonel Tom Moore?
They should have been enjoying the thanks of a grateful nation.
Instead, the wartime generation must celebrate Friday’s 75th anniversary of VE Day, like everyone else, locked away in their own homes.
However, that will not stop the whole country honouring Victory in Europe on this special Bank Holiday.
Just as we will all join in with Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ singalong, after the Queen’s speech at 9pm, so there will be another great moment courtesy of this newspaper.
As we announced last weekend, the Mail has been granted special permission to send a Spitfire across the country to salute our veterans – along with those who are looking after them.
Our Spitfire Mk IX (pictured), donated by the Goodwood-based Boultbee Spitfire Academy, will take to the skies in tribute to the lot of them. We asked for suggestions for a flypast – to include a care home and an NHS hospital
There will be one for the Care For Veterans home in Worthing, West Sussex, which received more nominations than any other. Among its residents are several war veterans including 96-year-old Len Gibbon (pictured)
Our Spitfire Mk IX, donated by the Goodwood-based Boultbee Spitfire Academy, will take to the skies in tribute to the lot of them. We asked for suggestions for a flypast – to include a care home and an NHS hospital.
There will be one for the Care For Veterans home in Worthing, West Sussex, which received more nominations than any other.
Who needs a street party?
With hundreds of street parties and local events cancelled, many communities have turned to the internet to mark VE Day.
Thousands of Britons will enjoy virtual street parties – decorating their homes before joining their neighbours online to tuck into picnics and listen to music.
Fiona Simpson, who runs children’s art business ARTventurers, had planned family festivals across the UK – but will now do an online event, with 19,000 people saying they want to take part.
She told the Mail: ‘We had some great plans for VE Day 75 but like the official celebrations, we had to shelve these plans.’
She said they will now be ‘streaming a whole festival line-up full of VE Day-themed family sessions, from vintage dance classes and music, to magic and circus skills.’
In King’s Lynn, Norfolk, a tea party has been replaced by online workshops to make flags and bunting, plus a 1940s dance class.
In Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, locals can stream live performances from all the acts originally booked for the celebrations.
A Facebook group called Stay At Home Street Party: Cheshire has gathered support from 2,000 people and is encouraging them to decorate their homes in red, white and blue.
Among its residents are several war veterans including 96-year-old Len Gibbon. Originally from London, he joined the Royal Army Service Corps as a Despatch Rider when he was just 20.
He remembers landing in Normandy in 1944, climbing off his ship and jumping on to a smaller landing craft to take him ashore.
Mr Gibbon had followed his unit to Germany by the end of the war. After hearing news of the ‘Salute The Heroes’ flypast, he said: ‘The last time I saw a Spitfire, I was in Hamburg, Germany.
‘I was pulling the throttle down hard on my motorbike riding fast, the road ablaze with fire, and I saw a Spitfire coming towards me flying low. From my side, I saw someone waving at me, I knew then the war had ended.
‘I stood on my saddle and celebrated. I will wear my jacket, whisky in hand, and wave back once more to celebrate this day.’
As with care homes, we received an incredible number of hospital recommendations. Our choice, proposed by nearly 100 readers, is the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex.
The hospital played a pivotal part in the war as a centre for reconstructive surgery for injured pilots.
And how could our Spitfire take to the skies without a nod to Colonel Tom Moore? Our pilot, Matt Jones, will be flying over Bedfordshire and tipping his wings to the man who has now raised over £31million for NHS charities.
Last night, Civil Aviation Authority chairman, Dame Deirdre Hutton, voiced her full support for the flight.
‘It is absolutely right that we mark VE Day across the UK’s hospitals and care homes,’ she said.
‘Colonel Tom is an inspiring example and his efforts to support the National Health Service have been rousing.
‘The UK Civil Aviation Authority salutes our veterans and key workers and we continue to work closely with the aviation sector on a restart and recovery programme for the industry.’