Why the YEP wants to hear your personal World War Two stories ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

As the country marks 75 years of World War Two’s end, the YEP wants to hear your families’ stories of life in Leeds during the conflict.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:00 am
The Yorkshire Evening Post is calling on you to share your families stories about your experiences in the Second World War ahead of this important milestone in history.

Every single person has a story to tell.

And as the years continue to roll by another page and another passage is added to our own personal histories. Among those chapters are moments that define us - those very junctures that stop you in your tracks as you find yourself swept up in a historic milestone.

Everyone can remember where they were the moment the news broke about the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001 and when the UK announced its intention to leave the European Union.

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Victory in Europe parade through Leeds City Centre in 1945. Picture: YPN

Such is their importance that we often find ourselves looking to the past to learn from those lessons to avoid history repeating itself.

Major events that have shaped society continue to be dissected in numerous books as well as dramatised on the big screen in films and documentaries.

But there is nothing more powerful than the voices and memories of those who were at the very heart of their personal story.

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This year is set to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

The toll of battle had come at a huge cost nationally - more than 264,000 serving their King and Country were killed during the conflict.

Families were left nursing their own scars and heartache as children found themselves orphaned or displaced across the country following the mass evacuation programme.

But they were offered hope when the Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced to the nation on May 8 1945: “This is your victory.... in all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this.

“Everyone, man or woman, has done their best.”

And with every passing year the number of veterans and those who were the last living link to this conflict continues to dwindle.

Yesterday the Royal British Legion and the Government announced a raft of plans to make sure that members of the Second World War generation can take part in the events celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

There will be a special display by the Red Arrows and a Battle of Britain memorial flight above Buckingham Palace.

But at the heart of these plans are those who lived through the conflict and served their country - be that abroad or keeping the home fires burning back in the UK.

And it is vital that the stories of those here in Leeds continue to be told and heard as the days, months and years continue to tick by.

The Yorkshire Evening Post is calling on you to share your families’ stories about your experiences in the Second World War ahead of this important milestone in history.

We want to collate those memories, stories and photographs about life here in our city as the seismic conflict came to an end.

And we want to make sure that those stories are captured and continue to be told to help those chapters of life in Leeds aren’t just consigned to history.