Beacons lit to commemorate 70th anniversary of VE Day

The lighting of the beacon in Rutland to mark VE day. Photo: Mike Frisby EMN-151105-181503001
The lighting of the beacon in Rutland to mark VE day. Photo: Mike Frisby EMN-151105-181503001
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Beacons were lit across the area to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, which marked the end of the Second World War.

Rutland and Corby Glen were among those which lit one of 100 official beacons as part of a national day of celebration held on Friday last week. The first beacon was lit by the Queen in Windsor Park.

The Rutland beacon was lit in the grounds of Oakham Castle at 9.32pm and the ceremony was attended by more than 50 people, including veterans, the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Laurence Howard the High Sheriff of Rutland Andrew Brown, the Royal British Legion and county council representatives.

A special tribute was read by Col Robert Boyle DL and the Beacon itself was lit by 94-year-old Flt Lt George Kirk, who was an RAF pilot during the Second World War.

The Corby Glen beacon was lit by Brian Walsingham, resident of Corby Glen who was awarded the British Empire Medal this year, following the reading of a tribute by Phil Mould and Martin Day.

One of the organisers, Steve Honeywood said: “The weather wasn’t ideal on the night but it didn’t stop people turning out to witness the beacon being lit and to remember the six years of war across Europe 70 years ago, and the sacrifice, courage and determination of the people who saw us through this dark period.”

The beacon lighting was followed by ringing of the bells at St John’s Church, Corby Glen at 11am the following day, at the same time as bells were rung across the country.