Writing Prompt Story Starter: VE Day

story starter

This week’s Story Starter is focused on today’s auspicious date: Friday, 8th May is the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day.

On this day in 1945, the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany’s armed forces. Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945 brought World War II to a close.

Because of the coronavirus situation, many celebrations planned for VE Day have been postponed, to keep everyone safe. However, it’s hoped that as many people as possible will pause to reflect in a two-minute silence at 11 a.m.

Solo buglers, trumpeters and cornet players have been invited to play the Last Post at 2.55pm in their own homes, with pipers playing at 3pm.

Town criers will Cry Out For Peace at 6.55pm, and before that, at 2.45pm, we’ll hear Churchill’s VE Day speech, which is being broadcast by the BBC.

And her Majesty the Queen will address the nation at 9pm — the very time when her father spoke to the nation, 75 years ago.

We’ll be remembering, today. Might VE Day inspire your writing this week?

Wartime inspiration

The war finally over. Spontaneous celebrations everywhere. Dancing in the streets.

Crowds at Buckingham Palace. Winston Churchill addressing the nation, as he had, stalwartly, for six years. The Royal Princesses, out and about in London. Relief, after six years at war, mixed with sadness for those who gave their lives for the war effort.

Street parties, bunting, and balloons. Union Jacks everywhere. Flags waving, caps in the air.

Wartime songs, of hope: “When The Lights Go On Again”, “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover”, and, of course, “We’ll Meet Again”. Vera Lynn, keeping everyone’s spirits up.

Wartime hairstyles, and fashion. Tea-stained legs instead of tights, with ‘seams’ drawn on in eyebrow pencil. Black and white images of servicemen kissing girls on the street.

Who were the people behind the pictures? What are their stories?

Stories — and serials — set during both wars are very popular with both our readers, and our writers.

We remain open to stories and serials set in other eras, and other countries, too.

Looking for another Story Starter? Click here.

For more from Lucy, read her blog here.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!