Cymraeg

Victory in Europe Day

Friday 8 May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. VE Day commemorates the Allies accepting the surrender of Nazi Germany in the Second World War in 1945.

8-9 May is also noted as United Nations Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War. After the war came the establishment of the United Nations to maintain world peace and security and to protect human rights.

Here you can learn more about Wales and the Second World War through some of the objects from the collection. Read about the stories behind the medals of individual servicemen and civilians and of the sacrifices made on the Home Front as a result of rationing that continued for years after VE Day.

Sgt Evans’ medals (from left to right): The War Medal, The Air Crew Europe Star, The 1939-1945 Star

Sgt Evans’ medals (from left to right): The War Medal, The Air Crew Europe Star, The 1939-1945 Star.

VE Day 75: Medals of Heroism, Service and Sacrifice

The National Museum Wales’ collection of Second World War medals attests to the incredible heroism and sacrifice of Welsh servicemen and civilians between 1939 and 1945.

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Clothing rationing and 'Make do and Mend' during the Second World War

Following food rationing in 1940, clothes rationing came into force in June 1941. The main reason was to reduce the need for raw materials and to redirect labour to war work.

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Utility fireside chairs in the Prefab living room, St Fagans National Museum of History

Utility fireside chairs in the Prefab living room, St Fagans National Museum of History

Rationing furniture during the Second World War

In 1941, the Board of Trade designed a collection of furniture of simple design that could be produced cheaply, which was referred to as ‘utility furniture'.

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A permanent home for a temporary house - the prefab at St Fagans

Thousands of British homes were destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. They could not be replaced immediately because of the shortage of builders and materials.

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Food Rationing during the Second World War

Some have drawn similarities between our current situation and the Second World War – long queues outside shops, empty shelves and rationing of items in our supermarkets.

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