Lesson 2, Topic 6
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King George VI’s Speech

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Audio

At 9pm on May 8th 1945, the King of the United Kingdom, King George VI, broadcast a speech to the nation. Listen to this speech below and follow the transcript at the same time. Key vocabulary is highlighted purple in the transcript and you can find definitions for these words at the bottom of this page. 

Video Source: The Royal Family. (2020). King George VI’s VE Day broadcast. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwWvoVvk7IU. Last accessed 8th May 2020.

Key Vocabulary

Below are key words taken from this audio with definitions. Please be aware that there are sometimes many definitions for one word, it will depend on context. We have provided definitions for the context in this audio. 

Definition: Risk that you might lose something

In this audio: The knowledge that everything was at stake…

Definition: To bring together 

In this audio: This is the task to which now honour binds us.

Definition: To value a lot

In this audio: … of every land where freedom is cherished and law and liberty go hand in hand.

Definition: To be very brave and strong

In this audio: Let us remember those who will not come back, their constancy and courage in battle.

Definition: To cause pain/brutal

In this audio:  In the Far East we have yet to deal with the Japanese, a determined and cruel foe.

Definition: Intimidated and scared

In this audio: Speaking from our Empire’s oldest capital city, war-battered but never for one moment daunted or dismayed.

Definition: Loyal

In this audio: I cannot praise them to the measure of each one’s service, for in a total war the efforts of all rise to the same noble height and all are devoted to the common purpose.

Definition: Sad

In this audio: Speaking from our Empire’s oldest capital city, war-battered but never for one moment daunted or dismayed.

Definition: Very bad

In this audio: But at this hour, when the dreadful shadow of war has passed from our hearths and homes in these islands…

Definition: Enemy

In this audio: In the Far East we have yet to deal with the Japanese, a determined and cruel foe.

Definition: Pointless, for no reason

In this audio: We shall have failed, and the blood of our dearest will have flowed in vain

Definition: Evil, to show no compassion

In this audio: …their sacrifice and endurance in the face of a merciless enemy…

Definition: Destruction and damage caused by war

In this audio: Much hard work awaits us, both in the restoration of our own country after the ravages of war…

Definition: Broken/destroyed

In this audio: … and in helping to restore peace and sanity to a shattered world.

Definition: To take responsibility for something

In this audio: … all civilians who, shouldering their many burdens, have carried them unflinchingly without complaint.

Definition: Pain from loss of something/somebody

In this audio: To that, then, let us turn our thoughts on this day of just triumph and proud sorrow.

Definition: Determined 

In this audio: together we shall all face the future with stern resolve and prove that our reserves of willpower and vitality are inexhaustible.

Definition: To work hard 

In this audio: Armed or unarmed, men and women, you have fought, striven, and endured to your utmost.

Definition: Suffering 

In this audio: We have come to the end of our tribulation, and they are not with us at the moment of our rejoicing.

Definition: Not hesitating to do something

In this audio:… all civilians who, shouldering their many burdens, have carried them unflinchingly without complaint.

Definition: A single person who rules a country/state in  an evil way

In this audio: We knew that, if we failed, the last remaining barrier against a worldwide tyranny would have fallen in ruins.

Definition: To not deserve something

In this audio: a people to do nothing unworthy of those who died for us and to make the world such a world as they would have desired, for their children and for ours.

Definition: To a very high level

In this audio: To this we shall turn with the utmost resolve and with all our resources.

Definition: Destroyed as a result of war

In this audio: Speaking from our Empire’s oldest capital city, war-battered but never for one moment daunted or dismayed – speaking from London, I ask you to join with me in that act of thanksgiving.

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