FORMER Defence Minister and Ludlow MP Philip Dunne is encouraging Second World War veterans to register to take part in the national commemorations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe) and VJ Day (Victory over Japan).

A special programme of events marking VE 75 will take place over the early May Bank Holiday 2020, with the Bank Holiday having been moved this year to Friday, May 8 to help mark the occasion.

The Royal British Legion will host 750 veterans from across the UK, each accompanied by a nominated companion, to attend the VE 75 events programme in Central London over the period May 8 and 9. The invitation includes a fully funded plan for transport, meals and accommodation; veterans will travel to London courtesy of the National Rail Group on Thursday, May 7 and returning home on Sunday, May 10.

The Legion is encouraging applications from all of those who contributed to victory in Europe and over Japan 75 years ago, including spouses and civilians from reserved occupations across the UK and Commonwealth.

The UK’s VJ Day national event will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum on Saturday, August 15. The event will form part of a three-day public programme of events from August 14 - 16, which will include a national service of Remembrance. The Legion is also funding the travel and accommodation costs for a series of tours for veterans of the Asia-Pacific campaign, to key commemorative and Commonwealth War Grave Commission sites across South and South East Asia.

Travel and accommodation will also be provided for a nominated companion to accompany each veteran, and a comprehensive Legion care support group will be in place throughout the event programme to support veterans.

“As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day and VJ Day, it is right that those who played such an important role in victory over fascism are central to the commemoration,” said Mr Dunne.

“I hope veterans from the Second World War, will apply to take part in these commemorative events. I encourage constituents who know veterans of the war, whether friends or family, to tell them about this opportunity and help with the application process where needed.”

Registration can be completed online at The deadline for entries is Monday, March 2.