VE Day Beacon lights up the Buckinghamshire sky

A flaming ‘V’ for Victory lit up the Buckinghamshire night sky on Friday (May 8) when Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher set a celebratory beacon alight atop Coombe Hill.

The county’s Lord Lieutenant took his cue from HM The Queen, who lit the first beacon outside Windsor Castle at 9.30pm to start a chain of more than 100 beacons across the country marking the 70th anniversary of VE Day, which celebrated an end to the Second World War in Europe.

With him in the evening breeze after a brief rain shower were a group of around 60 civic guests and armed forces representatives from across the county.

Sir Henry said: ‘?It’s important that we remember historic events such as this; our armed forces defended our country against Nazi oppression 70 years ago to preservethe freedoms we now accept as everyday life today.’

The beacon lighting followed an act of remembrance on the steps of Coombe Hill’s War memorial, at which Buckinghamshire County Council Chairman Zahir Mohammed read a tribute to those who gave their lives and those wounded in conflict.

Behind a parade of Royal British Legion (RBL) standard bearers, Buckinghamshire’s RBL Vice-Chairman Bob Higgins read an exhortation and bugler Max Farmer played the Last Post, followed after a brief silence by the Reveille and a voluntary.

The Chairman, Petty Officer Cadet Harriet Hulland and CSM Cadet Georgie James then joined Sir Henry to light the beacon at 9.32pm.