VE Day
Soldiers from the Women's Royal Army Corps drive through Trafalgar Square on VE Day RJ Salmon/Getty

Memorial services, parades and street parties will take place around Britain this weekend to mark the 70<sup>th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. More than 100 beacons will be lit across the country to commemorate the end of the Second World War in Europe.

The Royal British Legion, as the national custodian of Remembrance, will work alongside the government in leading the nation in marking the commemoration, including hosting a major reception for 2,000 veterans in St James's Park in London.

"We are honoured to play our part in helping the nation mark 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe," vice admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO, national president of the Royal British Legion said.

"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."

Ahead of VE Day on 8 May, we look at events taking place to celebrate the anniversary around the UK.

Friday 8 May

VE Day itself will be a day of remembrance. A service of remembrance will be held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. It will include two minutes' silence at 3pm, marking the moment Winston Churchill broadcast his historic speech formally announcing the end of the war.

Memorials will make places across the UK. In Leeds, the day of services will begin with the Lord Mayor of Leeds, David Congreve, laying a wreath at the war memorial on Victoria Gardens before participating in a national two minute silence at 3pm. The Launceston branch of the Royal British Legion will mark the day with a service at the war memorial in the town square.

In Birmingham, memorials will begin at 12pm and include a street party and 1940s-themed musical and dance acts. A two-minute silence will be observed outside the Hall of Memory at 3pm, followed by Churchill's victory speech and a veterans' parade.

VE Day Germany surrender WW2
May 8, 1945: Residents of Tilloch Street in Islington, London enjoy a tea party in the street Central Press/Getty Images

Saturday 9 May

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 1940s themed concert held on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall on Saturday night, featuring a line-up of stars including Katherine Jenkins, Pixie Lott and the Diversity dance troupe. The show will be broadcast in the evening on BBC One. You can buy tickets here.

Across the UK, street parties will be taking place to mark VE Day and the parties that took place after the end of war in Europe was declared in 1945.

Eric Goldrein, 94, from Hale Village, Liverpool, served with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. He 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."

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.

Following the service, a parade of current military personnel and veterans from the Abbey along Whitehall, pass the balcony of HM Treasury where 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. There will also be a display of period vehicles from the 1940s in St James's Park.