Bells ring out for VE Day celebrations

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Church bells chimed across the district to mark the end of Europe’s role in World War Two.

Victory In Europe Day commemorated the end of the conflict 70 years ago in 1945 at the weekend.

Organisers at churches in Dewsbury, Batley and Wakefield rang their bells at 11am as part of the national celebration.

At Dewsbury Minster Church, prayers and thanks - led by Westminster Abbey in London - were followed as dozens turned out to mark the event.

Event Coordinator Ronalda Johnstone said: “We were honoured to play our part at the church in helping the nation mark 70 years since the end of the World War Two in Europe.

“The commemoration of this conflict, still in living memory, gives us the opportunity to salute that generation.

“The ringing of church bells has long been part of marking the moment when peace broke out in 1945 and this was an opportunity to be part of a shared single national moment when together we remembered all those who gave their lives for us.”

A concert featuring brass bands, organised by Spenborough’s branch of the Royal British Legion, took place at Cleckheaton’s town hall last Saturday.

At Red House Museum in Gomersal, military historian Chris Schofield led a talk about a collection of World War Two memorabilia on Sunday.

The Queen lit the first of hundreds of beacons on display around Britain to mark the anniversary last Friday.

The monarch, who was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, started a nationwide recreation of jubilant scenes following news of the German surrender.

As evening fell on May 8 1945, people up and down the country lit hundreds of bonfires and beacons as the celebrations following news that the World War Two was over went on into the night.