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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 17:17 GMT
Queen to lead war victory events
D-Day landings
The handling of this year's D-Day anniversary has been criticised
The Queen is to lead a national event in London to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, defence officials have said.

The city's "national celebration and commemoration" of VE and VJ Days - Victory in Europe and Victory in Japan - will be held on 10 July next year.

Towns across the UK should follow suit, the Ministry of Defence said.

The news comes amid criticism of the government's handling of this year's 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

There will be nothing more likely to sour the event than individuals who liberated Europe being turned away for a lack of photo ID
Tory MP Gerald Howarth

Junior defence minister Ivor Caplin, Labour MP for Hove, said: "I am pleased to announce that there will be a national celebration and commemoration of VE Day and VJ Day on Sunday, 10 July, 2005.

"The main event in London will be led by Her Majesty the Queen.

"I very much hope other towns and cities across the United Kingdom will stage their own events on that day."

VE Day, marking the date when Germany formally surrendered, was on 8 May 1945, while the Japanese surrender, marked by VJ Day, followed on 15 August of that year.

Canterbury's Tory MP Julian Brazier said the announcement was "extremely welcome" and called for the Indian Army to be given recognition.

'Volunteer force'

"They were, after all, the largest volunteer force in history and largely broke the back of the Japanese force on land," he said.

MPs reminded Mr Caplin of concerns that veterans of the D-Day landings might miss the commemorations in France this June because of heightened security procedures.

Veterans have only until 21 March to apply for photo ID passes from the French authorities.

Conservative MP for Aldershot Gerald Howarth said a veterans' leader had criticised the government for the D-Day events' "lamentable" organisation.

He said: "There will be nothing more likely to sour the event than individuals who liberated Europe being turned away for a lack of photo ID."

Mr Caplin said the government would ensure veterans would be "secure, safe and able to get to the events they want".




SEE ALSO:
Veterans get lotto cash to travel
09 Feb 04  |  Northern Ireland
Veterans may need D-Day passes
03 Feb 04  |  England
Germany invited to D-Day events
01 Jan 04  |  Europe
D-day veterans return to beaches
04 Nov 03  |  Hampshire/Dorset
From the battlefield to Brussels
17 Oct 03  |  Europe


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