VE Day - 75th Anniversary

May Day Bank Holiday is traditionally held on a Monday but has been put back to Friday 8th May 2020. VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe. The holiday will form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events.

Original plans for 'VE Day 75' were cancelled due to Covid-19, so national events have been adapted. The public in lockdown is encouraged to celebrate Victory in Europe from their gardens, doorsteps and living rooms.

This picture quiz aims to provide a Cognitive Stimulation Therapy activity which helps those celebrations and reminiscences along. Please use with caution though, as some individuals may have had traumatic war time experiences or lost loved ones during the conflict.

The quiz, I hope, avoids the more distressing aspects of World War Two and focuses more on the home front experience and later arts and media representations.

1. What were, and still are, the three 'British Armed Forces'?

2. Where did the 'Anzac' and 'Gurkha' allied forces come from?

3. What were the 'Reserved Occupations'? Name as many of them as you can.

4. Which two aircraft were said to have 'Won the Battle Of Britain' from 10th July - 31st October 1940?

5. What were the code names for the five landing beaches in Normandy where 'D Day' took place on 6th June 1944?

6. 'Dad's Army' was a hit TV comedy series in the UK, broadcast from 1968-1977. What force was it about? And name the characters and actors pictured here?

Time for a singalong. Here's a link to the theme tune -

7. What were the three tasks of the 'Air Raid Precautions Wardens'?

8. What did 'Standard Rations' include? Make as complete a list as you can.

(There were three things a person ALWAYS had to carry with them during the war. Their Ration Book, Identity Card and gas mask.)

9. 'SPAM' is an acronym. What do the initials stand for?

(Who likes SPAM?)

Does anyone remember the 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' sketch? Here it is -

10. What were the two main ingredients of 'Camp Coffee'?

(You can still get this today!)

11. What was this type of air raid shelter known as?

(Did anyone have one in their garden?)

12. How many children were evacuated to the countryside in 'Operation Pied Piper' in 1939?

13. What was the name of the TV sitcom about a Royal Artillery concert party based in Deolali in India and the fictional village of Tin Min in Burma, during the last months of the Second World War?

Time for another singalong, with 'Whispering Grass' -

14. What did 'E.N.S.A.' stand for?

15. Which part of UK government set up the 'Dig For Victory' campaign?

(Does anyone still grow their own produce?)

16. This painting, 'The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies', was featured in which TV sitcom?

How much did it sell for in 2018?

17. Members of the 'Women's Land Army' were known as what?

18. Which 1963 World War Two film is this still taken from? And what are the character's and actor's names?

19. How many people perished in 'The Holocaust'?

How many Jews did Oscar Schindler save?

20. Where is Pearl Harbour?

21. Bloody Mary is a character in the 1946 movie 'South Pacific', who sings 'Bali Hai' and 'Happy Talk'. What are the ingredients of a 'Bloody Mary' cocktail?

Here's another song from this movie, 'There Is Nothing Like A Dame' -

22. Where is the River Kwai?

Complete the song - "Hitler has only got one ball ..."

23. What was the stand out song from this 1942 movie?

Here's a link to the song -

24. When is 'Remembrance Sunday' held each year and what does it commemorate?

25. Who is this and how much has he raised for NHS charities recently?

26. Glen Miller was a best selling recording artist from 1939-43. What was his genre of music known as?

What instruments were played in his 'Big Band'?

If you want to get people up and dancing at the end of the quiz, here is a link to a Jive Bunny 'Glen Miller Medley' -

27. Complete these song titles from this 1965 movie? (Time to pick up some extra points)

- I have ..........

- Sixteen going on .........

- My favourite ......

- Climb ev'ry ........

- The lonely ........

- Do, Re, ..

- Something ....

- So long, ........

- Eidel - .....

- The sound of .....

Here's a link to the 'Sound Of Music Overture', which reprises most of these songs -

28. Colditz Castle, near Leipzig in Germany, was a prisoner of war camp for Allied officers who were considered 'incorrigible', as they had escaped from other camps. How many British officers escaped from there during the war years?

(Did anyone have this board game?)

29. Thinking of German forces, what were these called:

- Their air force?

- Their submarines?

- Their V1 flying bombs?

- Their State Secret Police?

- Their emblem?

30. Who is this, that will feature on the new £50 polymer note when it is launched later this year? And what did he do at Bletchley Park, which saved countless lives in World War Two?

31. Who invented the 'bouncing bomb' used in the 'Dambusters' raids on German Ruhr dams on 16th-17th May 1943?

32. What did the 'G.I.' stand for in 'G.I. Joe'?

33. What was the name of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber which dropped the atmoic bomb on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945?

34. Identify these three people from the war years?

35. What was Dame Vera Lynn called in the Second World War (nickname)?

How old is she now?

Here's the duet of 'We'll Meet Again' sung by Dame Vera Lynn and Catherine Jenkins, which has just reached number 1 in the iTunes chart -

36. How old was the then Princess Elizabeth on VE Day and what was her role in the Second World War?

Here is her address to the nation on 8th May 2020 -


1. The three 'British Armed Forces' were / are:

- British Army

- Royal Air Force

- Royal Navy

2. 'Anzacs' came from Australia and New Zealand. 'Gurkhas' came from Nepal.

3. 'Reserved Occupations' were exempted from conscription. They included:

- Doctors

- Miners

- Farmers

- Scientists

- Merchant Seamen

- School Teachers

- Railway and Dock Workers

- Utility Workers - Water, Gas & Electricity

4. The 'Battle Of Britain' was said to have been won by:

- Spitfires & Hurricanes

5. The five 'D Day' landing beaches were:

- Omaha

- Gold

- Juno

- Sword

- Utah

6. 'Dad's Army' was about the 'Home Guard'. It featured:

- Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) - "You stupid boy!" "Don't tell him Pike!"

- Sergeant Wilson (John Le Mesurier) - "Do you think that's wise, sir?"

- Lance Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn) - "Don't panic!!"

- Private Frazer (John Laurie) - "We're doomed. Doomed!"

- Private Walker (James Beck) - "It won't cost you much."

- Private Godfrey (Arnold Ridley) - "Do you think I might be excused?"

- Private Pike (Ian Lavender) - "I'll tell Mum!"

7. 'Air Raid Precautions Wardens' were tasked with:

- Ensuring 'Black Out Blinds' were in order

- Raising the alarm when incoming enemy aircraft were spotted

- Sounding the 'All Clear'

8. 'Standard Rations' included (per person, per week) APRIL 1945 figs;

- Bacon and ham 4 oz (113 g)

- Sugar 8 oz (227 g)

- Loose tea 2 oz (57 g)

- Meat 1s. 2d. (equivalent to £2.31 in 2016)

- Cheese 2 oz (57 g) (Vegetarians were allowed an extra 3 oz (85 g) cheese)

- Preserves 1 lb (0.45 kg) per month

- Butter 2 oz (57 g)

- Margarine 4 oz (113 g)

- Lard 2 oz (57 g)

- Sweets 12 oz (340 g) per month

9. 'SPAM' stands for 'Special Processed American Meat'

10. Chicory & Coffee essence

11. Anderson Shelter

12. 1.5 million

13. 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum'

14. 'E.N.S.A.' stood for 'The Entertainments National Service Association'

15. The 'Dig For Victory' campaign was set up by the British Ministry Of Agriculture

16. 'Allo Allo'. It sold for £15,000 in 2018

17. Land Girls

18. 'The Great Escape' - Hilts 'The Cooler King', played by Steve McQueen

19. Six million Jews died, but with other victims included - Roma, Slavs, handicapped people, Jehovah's witnesses and gay people, the number is nearer 11 million

Oscar Schindler is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews, by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories

20. Pearl Harbour is on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Just west of Honolulu

21. Vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce (and/or Tabasco sauce), salt and pepper to taste and a stick of celery

22. Thailand

"Hitler has only got one ball, the other is in the Albert Hall. His mother, the dirty bugger, cut it off when he was small."

(The words were considered too vulgar to include in the 1957 movie, so the tune was whistled.)

23. 'As Time Goes By', sung by Dooley Wilson (Sam)

24. 'Remembrance Sunday' is held in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts". It is held on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November, the anniversary of 'Armistice Day', which marked the end of hostilities in the First World War at 11 a.m. in 1918. A two minute silence is observed at this time.

25. Captain Tom Moore. He raised almost £33 million by walking laps of his care home garden with his zimmer frame. He has just been awarded a 'Golden Blue Peter Badge' for his efforts, but let's hope he also is Knighted in the Queen's Birth day Honours.

26. Glen Miller's genre of music was 'Swing'. The instruments which formed his band were:

- Saxophone

- Clarinet

- Trumpet

- Trombone

- Bass

- Piano

27. The complete song titles are:

- I have .......... confidence

- Sixteen going on ......... seventeen

- My favourite ...... things

- Climb ev'ry ........ mountain

- The lonely ........ goatherd

- Do, Re, .. Mi

- Something .... good

- So long, ........ farewell

- Eidel - ..... weiss

- The sound of ..... music

28. There were only 15 'home run' escapes from Colditz, 11 of whom were British

29. Thinking of German forces, what were these called:

- Their air force? - Luftwaffe

- Their submarines? - U boats

- Their V1 flying bombs? - Doodlebugs

- Their State Secret Police? - Gestapo

- Their emblem? - Swastika

30. Alan Turing. He broke the 'Enigma Code'.

Sadly, he died in June 1954, aged just 41 (from cyanide poisoning) after being chemically castrated, as an alternative to prison, for being gay.

31. Sir Barnes Neville Wallis

32. The original meaning of G.I. was 'Galvanised Iron', but it also came to mean 'General Issue' or 'Ground Infantry'. The term refers to an American soldier in World War Two.

33. 'Enola Gay'

34. The Queen Mother (Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon), King George V1 & Winston Churchill

(After Buckingham Palace was bombed, The Queen Mother famously said "I am glad we have been bombed. Now we can look the East End in the eye."

35. 'The Force's Sweetheart'

103 (her date of birth was 20th March 1917)

36. HM Queen Elizabeth 11 was aged 19 on VE Day. Her role was as a Driver in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. (She reached the rank of Captain.)

To finish the quiz, you might like to read aloud the poem 'In Flanders Fields', written by John McCrae, in May 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

And the extract from the poem 'For the Fallen' by Robert Laurence Binyon, published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

If you want more war time music, here a playlist -

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About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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