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Thanks for our future

‘Newsdesk's commemorative magazine Thanks for our future captured all the emotion and nostalgia surrounding the 60th anniversary of the ending of the second world war. Written with authority, it was warmly accepted by the veterans as an accurate and unromanticised account of their experiences at war and on the home front.’
Wing Commander Chris Pickthall, MOD Ceremonial, Events and Commemorations Team Leader

Background

Between the 4th and the 10th of July 2005 the nation celebrated the 6oth anniversary of the ending of WW2, with the main events taking place in London. A Living Museum in St James Park captured the imagination of young people and took those who were there during WW2 back in time, giving them a chance to reminisce and reflect. Other events included massive projections of images from wartime Britain displayed against the facade of Buckingham Palace and Her Majesty The Queen's unveiling of the monument to the women of WW2. Tributes were paid to the veterans and their organisations on National Commemoration Day, together with a flypast of wartime and modern aircraft and drop of a million poppies on the Mall.

Requirement

For this special event, the MOD wanted to create a unique, long-lasting publication featuring in-depth articles covering all three armed services, as well as experiences of civilian life in wartime. It was also to include interviews and real stories from civilians and soldiers that had never been published before and the MOD wanted it to be distributed to all the veterans joining in the celebrations.

Publication

Many of the features were interview-led. They were carried out by the Newsdesk team with those who were there, including pilots, soldiers, sailors, housewives, land girls, factory workers, the Home Guard, police, ARPs, bankers, fire-fighters, miners, nurses, teachers – people from all walks of life who wished to share their recollections of the war. Picture libraries yielded rarely seen, vintage black and white images and in-depth research by Newsdesk's informed commentators produced insightful and evocative articles on a very wide range of wartime-related subjects from rationing to football.

Results

The very nature of this publication means it has an indefinite shelf life. The publication received wonderful feedback from both the veterans and the Ministry of Defence and was very widely distributed at various events throughout the UK, such as Veterans Awareness Week, St James's Park Exhibition, Buckingham Palace Veteran Lunch, Westminster Abbey service, Blackpool Commemorative event, Duxford Airshow and the Cornwall RBL event. Newsdesk also became the official sponsor of the Vintage Aircraft Flypast.


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