Beacon lit to mark 70th anniversary of VE Day

The Victory in Europe Day beacon at Knockagh Monument. INCT 19-19-GR
The Victory in Europe Day beacon at Knockagh Monument. INCT 19-19-GR

The contribution made on the home front to the war effort was recalled at Greenisland on the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

A beacon was lit at Knockah Monument on Friday evening as Mid and East Antrim Borough joined in a choreographed commemoration programme.

At the going down of the sun, the first beacon was lit outside Windsor Castle by Her Majesty the Queen, and within minutes, cities and towns throughout the United Kingdom fired their beacons, symbolising light emerging from the darkness of war.

The MEA beacon at the County Antrim War Memorial, with its ‘V for Victory’ burner, was lit by the Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe.

Special guest was Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Joan Christie, OBE. Also in attendance at the rain-soaked location were representatives from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Army, Royal British Legion and council.

The chain of beacons was co-ordinated by pageant master Bruno Peek. who also organised beacons for the 50th VE anniversary and for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012

Mr Peek said: “It is an important anniversary, one that many veterans won’t see again. But it is also an important time to remember those who stayed at home - the land girls, the firemen, aid raid wardens, the doctors and nurses who looked after the wounded, the wives and girlfriends and fiancées.

“Those people who were left behind to look after the family units and the nation mustn’t be forgotten, and that is why it is important that we light the beacons.”