The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, today announced the names of the seven Second World War veterans, aged from 90 to 97 years old, who will travel to France and the United Kingdom in May to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe.
The veterans served in the European theatre during the Second World War and will represent Australia at the VE Day commemorations in the United Kingdom and France.
On 7 May 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender on all fronts, bringing an end to the war in Europe. The surrender came into effect at midnight on 8 May, an historic day known as Victory in Europe (VE) Day.
After five years and eight months of bloodshed, the war that had begun in Europe in September 1939 and spread far beyond the continent was at an end. We must remember though that while peace returned to Europe the war in the Pacific lasted another three months.
The veteran representatives travelling on this mission have come from towns and cities across Australia, and for several it will be the first time they have returned to Europe and the United Kingdom since the war ended some 70 years ago. They represent all Australians who served in the European theatre.
In what will be an emotional journey, the veterans will attend services to acknowledge and pay tribute to Australians who served in Europe during the Second World War.