RESIDENTS across Dorset are being urged to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day at home with no council plans to acknowledge the milestone.

While all public events have been scrapped, including dozens of street parties that were set to take place across the county, Friday’s (May 8) anniversary will still be celebrated by many.

However, to mark the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, when the Allies accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany, BCP and Dorset councils have outlined no plans beyond urging residents to watch television.

BCP Council leader Vikki Slade said: “While we want all our residents to mark the incredibly important 75th Anniversary of VE Day, we would really appreciate everyone’s continued co-operation and urge you to stay at home and celebrate.

“Sadly, street parties and other public gatherings are not allowed this year but there are special TV and radio shows to mark the occasion, films and podcasts to enjoy and you can get creative tips on 1940s recipes, making bunting, virtual get-togethers or uploading a family member’s photographs to social media from a variety of resources.”

Other things suggested for residents to do to mark the occasion in lockdown include decorating homes in red, white and blue, making bunting and VE Day posters, or planning a private indoor or garden picnic including recipe ideas from 1945.

For D-Day veteran Eddie Gaines, who was set to take part in memorials marking the anniversary, the cancellation of public commemorations across Dorset has been bittersweet.

The 94-year-old, who served a stoker on a barge during the Normandy landings, said he understood why local council's were doing what they were, but he has found it hard to contain his disappointment

"With this virus everything has changed," said Eddie. "But I hope we can make more of the anniversary next year."

Eddie, who now lives in Creekmoor, Poole, also represents a stark reminder that VE Day did not mark the end of the fighting for hundreds of thousands of servicemen.

Many would carry on fighting against the Japanese for more than three bloody months.

He was based Oban, Scotland, on May 8, 1945.

Eddie told the Echo: "We'd joined a flotilla of LCI(L) (Landing Craft Infantry - Large).

"I'd been six months with the Americans in Normandy, but then we picked these boats up and we were going to sail for the Far East the next day, which turned out to be the next day after VE Day."

Dorset Council has also called for residents to join friends and family at a distance, by raising a glass from their homes or back gardens.

Councillor Pauline Batstone, chairman of Dorset Council, said: “We want everyone to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day safely.

"We may not be able to have the public celebrations many people planned, but we can still remember the heroes of WWII.

“Celebrate in your own home, or back garden if you have one, but please do not be tempted to visit relatives or friends.

“We hope to be able to celebrate VE Day properly when precautions allow, but for now please continue to observe government advice – stay home, stay safe, and protect our NHS.

“We also look forward to the time when we can to get together to commemorate VJ Day, especially marking the end of the 2nd Battalion of Dorset’s involvement in the conflict in Burma.”

Residents are urged to take part in the national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll meet again’, which will be sung at 9pm on VE Day.