Redcar war veteran issues rallying cry for the 75th anniversary of VE Day

A SECOND World war veteran, who was guest of honour at one of Redcar's premier meetings last year, has urged people to make a special effort to  commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day despite the lockdown.

Joyce Dowding was given VIP treatment at our 1940s Revival Day, in aid of the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes, in July 2019 when she was 97.

Joyce, who was born in Redcar and still lives locally, was given the honour to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and she is now urging the public to remember VE Day despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis.

In 1940, she was conscripted into the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute (NAAFI) catering for servicemen in combat zones. She ended up being one of the first women to land at Normandy after D-Day.

Joyce has now spoken out to promote plans by Kirkleatham Museum, on the outskirts of Redcar, to commemorate the anniversary of VE Day with a series of videos packed with ideas for children and families.

The museum will post two videos a week on its Facebook page in the run-up to May 8. Creative ideas will include making DIY bunting as well as looking back to a momentous period in world history. The first video is inspired by Captain Tom Moore, who has gone to Number 1 with Michael Ball, after his epic fundraising efforts for the NHS ahead of his 100th birthday. The video will show families how to make their own VE Day 2020 medals.

A major VE Day parade and party was planned for Redcar but had to be cancelled, and Kirkleatham Museum is closed during the lockdown.

However, Joyce has given her support to the museum's activities, saying: "This is an excellent idea and shows exactly the right spirit. I can't think of anything more like a tribute to all those who served than not being beaten, but carrying on and keeping our spirits up."

To watch the videos, go to




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