“I am proud to be part of leading VE Day 75 – celebrating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe on the 8th May 1945” said Neil Thain, who is playing his part in the VE Day 75, an international commemoration marking 75 years since the end of World War 2.

Organised by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, and his dedicated team, the playing of Battle’s O’er and VE 75 Years by pipers around the world taking place on 8th May 2020, throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and in 28 countries, including New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Bermuda, France, Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Russia, the United States and Germany is a unique aspect of the 75th Anniversary of VE Day which marked the end of the war in Europe on 8th May 1945.

“Battle’s O’er is the traditional March played by pipers at the end of a battle and VE 75 Years was especially written for this occasion by Pipe Major Roger Bayes, City of Norwich Pipe Band, Norfolk, England, as his contribution towards this unique anniversary.

The fact that over one thousand pipers in 28 countries are still taking part from the safety of their homes during this difficult time in all our lives shows the determination and strength of the family of piping throughout the world that wants to pay tribute to the many pipers that lost their lives during WWII, along with the many, many millions at home and abroad that gave and sacrificed so much to ensure we all share and enjoy the freedom we have today, and feel sure I will have a tear in my eyes on the day, knowing that these pipers are playing this together at this special moment in time. I am so proud of them,” said Bruno.

Piper Robert Procter, City of Leeds Pipe Band said, “When the UK lockdown announcement was made, I was disappointed that I would be unable to play my Pipes at the top of Scafell Pike, the highest Peak in England, where I had originally planned. That said I am delighted this aspect of the VE day 75 celebrations can still go ahead, my band mates are still participating from home and I’ll be able to play in safety on my own in Saltaire, Yorkshire, for neighbours to enjoy.”

Piper Rod Mcleod, Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) of Canada said, “I am proud to be part of the VE Day team dedicated to this historic event and will be playing Battle’s O’er and VE 75 Years from my home in Calgary, Canada during this difficult time, paying tribute to the hundreds of pipers who saw wartime service, along with those in my country that gave so much to ensure and celebrate the freedom we all have today. The pipers through their selfless bravery inspired the troops through their unique musical skills and paid the ultimate price.”

Newton Aycliffe’s Involvement:

Neil Thain, a local Newton Aycliffe piper will be playing at 3.00pm on Friday 8th May. Neil works in the security industry and will take some time off from his daily schedule to play the two tunes in tribute to the fallen and to commemorate the 75th Anniversary.

Neil said: “I am proud to be a part of this historic international event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day; a pivotal moment in our history. It’s a chance to commemorate those who sacrificed so much and celebrate the peace that they achieved.”