Wednesday, May 05, 2010

VE Day: 65th Anniversary Saturday

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at FamilyRelatives.com. Please address all inquiries through this website.

Familyrelatives.com invites you to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Victory in Europe on May 8th - V.E. Day

This Saturday, May 8th will mark Victory in Europe exactly 65 Years ago - At the time Winston Churchill, broadcasting from the Cabinet Room at Number 10 announced the end of the War with Nazi Germany. An unconditional ceasefire had been signed in Rheims , France the day before.

Vast crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace and cheered the Royal Family - including the King, Queen and both Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret and Winston Churchill. Above is how the Daily Mail reported it 65 Years ago.

Across the Atlantic , the United States President Harry Truman dedicated the victory to Franklin D Roosevelt who had died only a month earlier. Again vast crowds congregated in New York's Times Square as well as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and other cities across the United States , to celebrate the end of the conflict which had become one of costliest wars in terms of human sacrifice. Although figures vary greatly, it is generally thought that in excess of 50 million people died.

As part of our ongoing efforts to make information more widely available and also to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Victory in Europe we have released for the first time on Familyrelatives.com a wide range of records from both World War I and also World War II.

Familyrelatives.com has one of the most comprehensive Military collections available online with over 12 million individual records.

At Familyrelatives.com we are continually adding a large number of records to our already broad and diverse range, from the Peninsular War Rolls of the Duke of Wellington when Napoleon was driven from Portugal and Spain in 1814 through to the Korean War (1950-1953).

Our expanding records include in excess of 10 million military records related to World War II. You can search for those who died in the conflict from all three British services of the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force.

As part of the collection we include 9 million soldiers who enlisted in the US Army with records of US Prisoners of war as well as sources from other countries including the Indian Army, Australian and New Zealand Army (ANZAC) etc.

Graphic accounts surrounding events at the time of the Great War are released online on Familyrelatives.com for the very first time. These record sets provide a fascinating insight into life in the trenches, as well as soldiers at war. An extract from the "British People go to War" which is available now online at Familyrelatives.com gives a flavour of the mood of the times.

"Six years earlier Britain entered a new era, the transition from war to peace was dramatic, the country had put on uniform, the sky over the cities was dotted with balloons, everywhere people were digging trenches and filling sandbags, gas masks were being given out, there was a rush for black paper and cloth to screen windows and skylights. There was in the air a feeling of change, complete, inevitable, tremendous war had begun."

The unique release of "Mr Punch's History of the Great War" dotted with narrative references and poems of the goings on at home and abroad, Mr Punch's great wit and unbiased account of current affairs provides an unusual backdrop to the more serious events of the day.

A few statistics garnered from the website in a quick search of the British Army Lists shows that between 1939 and 1945 the Army Officer Corps alone suffered the loss of:-

9 Major Generals
31 Colonels
365 Majors
764 Captains
1630 Lieutenants

A spokesman for Familyrelatives.com added "We are very pleased to be adding these new military records to our existing collection, these will certainly allow family historians and military historians make good progress with their military research."

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