VE Day in pictures: 14 powerful and evocative images that capture the joy of May 8, 1945

Country Life takes a look back at this day in history, 75 years ago, when the Second World War in Europe came to an end after six long, bloody years.

St Paul’s Cathedral illuminated on the night of VE Day, London, 8 May 1945. Christopher Wren’s cathedral was lit up by beams of light to celebrate the end of World War II in Europe. Photo: Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty

Winston Churchill raised up and giving his famous V for Victory sign, joining the huge crowd celebrating VE Day 8 May 1945 in the London streets near Whitehall. Picture: PA

A soldier kissing a young woman in a pub during V-E Day celebrations in London, 8th May 1945. Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images

VE Day celebrations in London at the end of the Second World War. King George VI waves to the crowd from the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the celebrations, accomapnied by Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. 8th May 1945. Photo by Nixon & Greaves/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Even the day before was joyous. On 7th May 1945, Mrs Pat Burgess of Palmer’s Green, north London is thrilled to get the news that her husband will soon be home for good from Germany. Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images

Daily Telegraph front page the day after VE Day. Picture: Alamy

VE Day celebrations in London at the end of the Second World War. Huge crowds gathered around Piccadilly Circus during the celebrations with servicemen and women waving their nation’s flags, 8th May 1945. Photo by Nixon & Greaves/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Daily Express front page from May 9, 1945. Picture: Alamy

Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives his famous V for Victory sign to a crowd of 50,000 full with the spirit of VE day from the balcony of the Ministry of Health, London, 8th May 1945. Picture: Topfoto/PA

Jubilant nurses celebrate VE-Day in Liverpool, 8th May 1945. Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

The news reached across the Atlantic in time for the May 8 papers — this is the front page of The New York Times, 8 May 1945, announcing Germany’s surrender. Picture: Alamy

8th May 1945: Children help to put up bunting and flags for the VE Day celebrations. Photo by Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Daily News front page May 8, 1945. Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Crowds celebrate on VE Day. Picture: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Archive/PA