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Friday 8th May marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the day to celebrate  the formal surrender of Nazi Germany bringing about the end of WW2 in Europe. Friday will be the new May Bank holiday for 2020.  At 11:00am the nation will hold a remembrance and a two-minute silence. The AB Team will be joining in. If you are in East Grinstead look up at the skies  for the Spitfire fly by at Queen Victoria Hospital  around 1pm…see the route here

Did you know: Tunbridge Wells & WW2

  • Calverley Grounds monument is dedicated to local Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, Commander & Chief of RAF Fighter Command credited with winning the Battle of Britain
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  • Checkout IKS Exploration YouTube site for episodes about the town’s underground tunnels excavated  in 1940 – 1941, rumoured to be Lt. General Montgomery battle headquarters in the event of an invasion (these are now locked, not open to the public nor safe to explore!)
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  • According to Wikipedia over 3,800 buildings were damaged by air raid bombs 
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  • The Victorian Cross Grove in Dunorlan Park commemorates ten recipients of the Victoria Cross with two local men awarded for action in WW2: Captain Lionel Queripel & Temp. Captain John Brunt

Did you know: East Grinstead & WW2

  • On 9th July 1943, a lone German bomber pilot spotted a convoy of army trucks along the High Street. He dropped eight bombs, causing the largest single wartime loss of civilian life (108) in Sussex.  Read the BBC article here
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  • The town hosts several WW2 memorials including St Swithun's Church plaque naming all  civilian lives lost in 2 air raids and the Latin cross in the centre of Market Square remembers 205 local servicemen who gave their lives for country in both WW1 & WW2.
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  • The Queen Victoria Hospital played a key part in the pioneering surgery and rehabilitation of many wounded WW2 airmen under the guidance of surgeon Archibald McIndoe. 

Things to read, see and do…

  • British Pathé introduced the ‘cinema newsreel’ to the British people. Visit their Youtube channel for VE day footage and newsreel of Tunbridge Wells between 1942-1944
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  • Kent played a crucial role in the offensive & defensive WW2 operations. Much of the Battle of Britain took place in the skies over Kent. If you have 5 minutes read BBC and  Visit Kent articles
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  • If you want to research your family connections to WW2 Ancestry are giving free access to their records until Sunday 10th May 2020
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  • Checkout Time Outs 50 best World War II movies including Dunkirk, The Darkest Hour, the incredible Hacksaw Ridge, The Dam Busters, The English Patient, Saving Private Ryan, The Great Escape and a perhaps a few that didn’t make the list  like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
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  • And films for the kids made in the 1940s including Disney’s Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi
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  • A spot of 1940s baking visit The 1940’s Experiment for 100 wartime recipes or for modern day versions pop over to Good to Know, Little Things or Wartime Carrot Cake  ! 
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  • Make VE Day celebration bunting for the garden with these easy tutorials from Real Homes, Hobbycraft, Ideal Home, Sewing Directory 
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  • The National Museum of the Royal Navy, the National Army Museum and the Royal Air Force Museum are joining forces to host a free online festival, bringing to life the stories of those who helped deliver Victory in Europe
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  • For the first time in our 150-year history the iconic  Albert Hall is hosting a live stream  75th anniversary of VE Day concert on Friday evening
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  • Set up a free account for home schooling VE Resources with Twinkl from bunting templates, spitfire craft, code breaking (if you want to listen to an actual WW2 code breaker listen to Betty Webb) and other VE Day activities. 

#stayhome #VEday75 #staysafe #weremember