“As the survivors of some of the most significant battles in living memory bowed their heads to remember the fallen, it was a poignant reminder that VE Day, 1945 was about loss as well as joy.

Now in their late eighties and nineties, the dwindling band of 200 veterans proudly sat in the cold in a sea of different coloured berets.

After wreath laying, prayers and readings, the crowd broke into spontaneous applause as the old warriors rose to their feet to march off.

As they left – on foot and in wheelchairs – reflecting on the eternal virtues of courage and sacrifice, it was moving to think it may be the last major anniversary for some.”

By Peter Jackson, BBC News

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