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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 17:50
Victory in Europe (VE) Day celebrations

Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall on the day he broadcast to the nation that the war with Germany had been won, 8 May 1945 (VE Day). Photo  Imperial War Museum H 41849


15 March 2015 from Ministry of Defence, Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, Office of the Leader of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, The Rt Hon William Hague MP, + others


A 3-day weekend of events will mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.


William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, has today announced 3 days of commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day 70) this summer.

The plans include events across the UK to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. Events will range from a parade, a service of thanksgiving and a star-studded concert in central London, to street parties around the UK.

Mr Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, said:

I am delighted to announce 3 days of celebrations, which will pay fitting tribute to those who did so much to defend this country and ensure victory in Europe.

It is right that we take time to reflect on the sacrifices made, not just by those in the Armed Forces, but by civilians such as Land Girls and those in Reserved Occupations and make sure that the whole country has the chance to take part in commemorating this momentous anniversary and remembering those who gave so much for our freedom.

The celebrations in London will be echoed by other events across the country to mark VE Day 70 with local authorities and communities encouraged to participate. They will celebrate with members of their communities who contributed to the war effort throughout the Second World War. The Royal British Legion, as the national custodian of Remembrance, will act as the government’s key partner in leading the nation in marking the commemoration, including hosting a major reception for 2,000 veterans in St James’s Park.

Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO, National President of the Royal British Legion said:

We are honoured to play our part in helping the nation mark 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe. The Legion has a responsibility to help the memories of those of who have fought and died in our nation’s Armed Forces live on for future generations. The commemoration of this conflict, still in living memory, gives us the opportunity to salute the Second World War generation.

We hope that all communities will use the VE Day 70 commemorations to thank them and celebrate the role they played in our nation’s history.

Eric Goldrein, 94, from Hale Village, Liverpool, served with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War and was in Italy when the news came through that the war in Europe was over.

We celebrated in a field, the Signallers set up speakers playing music and the locals came out and joined in too, happy that the war was finally over. I heard about the street parties back home and I’m looking forward to being part of these 70th Anniversary celebrations.

Friday 8 May

VE Day itself (Friday 8 May) will be a day of remembrance. A service of remembrance will be held at The Cenotaph, including a national 2 minute silence at 3pm, marking the moment Winston Churchill broadcast his historic speech formally announcing the end of the war.

The Department for Education will be encouraging schools across the country to observe the 2 minute silence and to celebrate and commemorate in their own way – for example, by reading out Churchill’s historic speech, holding special VE Day-themed assemblies or organising tea parties.

In the evening a chain of over 100 beacons will be lit across the UK. Local communities that have already made plans for the day include Great Yarmouth, Island of Unst, Craig-Y-Dorth, Monmouthshire; Stokesby, Norfolk; and Lowestoft, Suffolk.


Saturday 9 May

Saturday 9 May will be a day of celebration. At around 11am, cathedrals across the country, from Durham to Canterbury, will be invited to ring their bells in celebration.

Festivities will peak with a star-studded 1940s themed concert held on Horse Guards Parade on Saturday night, featuring a line-up of international recording artists, stars and celebrities. The show will be one of the highlights of the year and will be broadcast that evening on BBC One.


Sunday 10 May

A service of thanksgiving will be held at Westminster Abbey, attended by veterans and their families, members of the Royal Family, representatives of allied nations and Commonwealth countries who fought alongside Britain in the conflict, along with other diplomatic representatives and senior members of government and the armed forces.

Following the service, there will be a parade of current personnel and veterans, supported by bands, from the Abbey along Whitehall, past the balcony of HM Treasury where Winston Churchill made his historic appearance before crowds on VE Day. Veterans who have taken part in the service and parade will then be invited to a reception in St James’s Park hosted by The Royal British Legion.

During the afternoon there will be a flypast of current and historic aircraft from the Royal Air Force – including the Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster of the famous Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which played such a famous role in the European War. The Spitfire, with its unmistakable design, won the admiration of many for its daring role in the Battle of Britain, engaging in dogfights in the sky against enemy aircraft in the defence of the nation. The Avro Lancaster is perhaps the most famous of the aircraft used by Bomber Command during the Second World War, used in many raids on enemy territory, including the famous Dambuster Raids on the Ruhr Valley.

Central London will also be transported back to the 1940s by a display of period vehicles from the 1940s in St James’s Park.

Further details on the commemorations, including event listings, are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/ve-day-70th-anniversary. Information on how veterans will be able to join in the London celebrations, including how to get involved in the lighting of the VE Day Beacons on 8 May and participating in the parade on 10 May, will be announced shortly.

In the coming weeks, the government will also announce plans to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, which will include a day of major events on 15 August 2015.


Notes to editors

  1. The line-up for the Horse Guards concert and details of how to get tickets will be announced in the coming weeks.
  2. The Royal British Legion was recently awarded £6 million of LIBOR funding by HM Treasury to support the work of commemorations over the next 5 years: they will use part of these funds for VE Day 70.
  3. VE Day images are available to license directly from the IWM Archive. To license images for press use, please browse the collection, take note of the reference number on the image and contact the IWM image sales team directly: Telephone: 020 7416 5215/5309 Email: imagesales@iwm.org.uk.
  4. For the latest news, follow MoD on Twitter at @DefenceHQ or search #VEDay70
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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 11:50
Royaume-uni : le ministre de la Défense Philip Hammond remplace Hague

Le ministre de la Défense britannique et prochain ministre des Affaires étrangères, Philip Hammond


15.07.2014 Boursorama (AFP)


Le Premier ministre britannique David Cameron a annoncé mardi sur son compte officiel Twitter qu'il avait nommé l'actuel ministre de la Défense Philip Hammond comme nouveau ministre des Affaires étrangères, en remplacement de William Hague.


Suite de l’article

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11 mars 2014 2 11 /03 /mars /2014 17:35
UK and Australian Foreign and Defence Ministers meeting


11 March 2014 Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence


Foreign and Defence ministers of the UK and Australia meet in London this week for the annual Australia-UK Ministerial (AUKMIN) meeting.


Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond will meet Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston to discuss foreign, defence and security policy challenges and opportunities for further joint cooperation.

During the visit, the Foreign Ministers will sign a Joint Statement on Enhanced Diplomatic Network Cooperation, which will enable diplomatic networks to share best practice and develop new initiatives in areas such as consular crisis training, IT and property cooperation. This will provide for efficiencies and cost savings for both countries.

The Ministers will also discuss the UN Security Council agenda, challenges around conflict and crisis response and developments in the Asia Pacific region, with particular focus on areas where UK and Australia can work more closely together or share resources. They will review and reaffirm the importance of intelligence cooperation and will discuss the current situation in Ukraine.

Defence-related discussions will focus on developing interoperability between our respective Armed Forces, building on the close relationship most recently fostered in Afghanistan and Iraq. Another critical element of these talks will be opportunities for collaborating on defence engagement in the Asia Pacific region.

Australia and the UK will ramp up their development cooperation by signing a new Partnership Arrangement, committing to an annual Development Dialogue and intensifying collaboration in shared priority areas, including leveraging the private sector and aid for trade, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and humanitarian response.

Also at the talks, the ministers will formally launch a new dialogue on Asia, involving foreign policy experts from the UK and Australia. Based on a partnership between the British Ditchley Foundation and the Sydney-based think tank, the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the first meeting will take place at Ditchley Park in June. Its aim will be to promote our common interest in a stable and prosperous region.

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4 mars 2014 2 04 /03 /mars /2014 20:40
Ukraine: toutes les options restent sur la table pour sanctionner la Russie


04 mars 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)


LONDRES - Londres a affirmé mardi que toutes les options restaient ouvertes pour répondre à l'intervention russe en Ukraine après la publication d'un extrait d'un document officiel laissant entendre que la diplomatie britannique ne soutiendrait pas des sanctions commerciales.


Le ministre des Affaires étrangères William Hague a déclaré mardi devant la chambre des Communes que toutes les options restaient sur la table aussi bien diplomatiques qu'économiques pour trouver une issue à la crise ukrainienne.


Cependant, le Royaume-Uni ne fera pas d'annonce avant la réunion jeudi des responsables européens, a-t-il ajouté.


Le chef de la diplomatie britannique a jugé absolument regrettable qu'un document tenu par un conseiller de David Cameron ait pu être photographié au téléobjectif. Cela n'aurait pas dû se produire, a-t-il dit devant la chambre basse du Parlement.


Cependant, il a précisé que ce qui est écrit dans un document entre les mains d'un responsable officiel ne constitue pas nécessairement un exposé des décisions que prendra le gouvernement de Sa Majesté.


Le Royaume-Uni ne devrait pas soutenir, pour l'instant, des sanctions commerciales (...) ou fermer aux Russes le centre financier de Londres, peut-on lire sur ce document publié par la BBC et plusieurs journaux.


De nombreuses sociétés russes ont choisi d'être cotées en bourse de Londres, alors que de nombreux oligarques russes possèdent de somptueuses demeures dans la capitale britannique.


Selon la presse, le document en question suggère que le Royaume-Uni n'appuierait pas de préparatifs militaires de l'Otan, et que l'ONU, et non pas l'Union européenne, devrait être en première ligne pour tenter de résoudre politiquement la crise en Ukraine.


A l'inverse, le gouvernement envisage une approche plus prudente incluant des restrictions de visas qui viseraient des personnalités russes, selon le Daily Telegraph.


Le chef de la diplomatie a noté que les réactions des marchés financiers montraient qu'il y a économiquement des risques importants pour la Russie, en pénétrant en Crimée.


Sur le gel d'avoirs individuels, il a mis en garde sur le fait qu'il fallait être bien sûrs de notre cas pour appliquer des sanctions à des personnes.


La veille, lors d'une visite à Kiev, William Hague avait mis en garde la Russie contre les conséquences et le coût d'une intervention en Ukraine, sans donner plus de détails.


Le Premier ministre britannique, David Cameron, avait, lui, souhaité une désescalade faute de quoi Moscou s'exposerait à des pressions diplomatiques, politiques, économiques et autres.

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