Winston Churchill

Winston ChurchillGetty: Images

Victory in Europe Day falls on the 8th of May every year.

Victory in Europe Day is the day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on Tuesday, 8 May 1945, marking the end of World War II in Europe.

The day is celebrated across Europe, in countries such as Poland, Austria, France, Germany, and Belgium, and is marked in several other countries across the continent.

Several countries that formerly made up the Soviet bloc also celebrate the occasion, though the 9th of May is their official date.

After Germany admitted defeat at the end of World War II, celebrates ensued all over the world, the likes of which had not been seen.

In the UK, celebrations were huge. Following the German surrender, Winston Churchill addressed the House of Commons in what would go on to become one of his most famous speeches.

The then-Prime Minister said 

My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole. We were the first, in this ancient island, to draw the sword against tyranny. After a while we were left all alone against the most tremendous military power that has been seen. We were all alone for a whole year.

King George VI also gave a speech that was broadcast from a damaged Buckingham Palace, in which he thanked the nation.

Churchill made sure in his speech to remind the British public that while the conflict in Europe was over, there was still combat going on between The United States and Japan.

Tomorrow our great Russian allies will also be celebrating victory and after that we must begin the task of rebuilding our hearth and homes, doing our utmost to make this country a land in which all have a chance, in which all have a duty, and we must turn ourselves to fulfill our duty to our own countrymen, and to our gallant allies of the United States who were so foully and treacherously attacked by Japan. We will go hand and hand with them. Even if it is a hard struggle we will not be the ones who will fail.

Churchill famously made another speech that day from the balcony of the Ministry of Health in Whitehall. He said 

God bless you all. This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this. Everyone, man or woman, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the unbending resolve of the British nation. God bless you all.

Have a look at the clip below, courtesy of the BBC