News: “Over the graves of the Druids and under the wreck of Rome,
Rudely but surely they bedded the plinth of the days to come.
Behind the feet of the Legions and before the Norseman’s ire
Rudely but greatly begat they the framing of State and Shire
Rudely but deeply they laboured, and their labour stand till now.
If we trace on ancient headlands the twist of their eight-ox plough.”

-Rudyard Kipling
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Author Topic: The Day War Finished .  (Read 13485 times)

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Offline Lyn L

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2013, 14:11:59 »
I really enjoyed reading it too. My sister was among the crowds and enjoyed every minute of it, she was 17 years old.  She has told me in the past about it, I wasn't born until a couple of years later, but she made it seem so vivid. My family were living in London at that time.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Offline CDP

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2013, 13:01:00 »
Me also, I really enjoyed the notes, and it reminded me all over again of the emotions.
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.

Offline OldMuzza

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2013, 09:01:12 »
Thanks for your comment, Ann. For me, it gives a personal insight to the feelings of the people who feature in those newsreel films of that time.

Offline ann

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 19:23:12 »
Loved reading your mums account, and the last 3 paragraphs really gave me a sense of the emotions of the time.

Offline OldMuzza

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 18:30:06 »
I’m not old enough to remember WWII, but in 1995, at the time of the 50th anniversary of its end, my late mother wrote the following piece for my son, whose school-class had been set a homework task “Memories of VE Day 1945”.

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During the war, I worked for a news bureau in Fleet Street (London) which relayed new events from war correspondents to all British national newspapers, the BBC, American and Canadian newspapers and radio stations. My husband was in the 1st Canadian Division, in Germany, and my father was in the Navy “somewhere at sea”.

I went to work on 5th May 1945 and during the morning a report came through from an American correspondent attached to SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) that the war was over. We were not allowed to transmit the information until the three Heads of State had met to confirm that unconditional surrender papers had been signed.

The relief and joy are un-describable –the news was very meaningful to me as May 5th is my husband’s birthday.

When I got home from work, late that day, imagine my further happiness to find my father was on leave for three days. With some reserve he told my mother and me that he had been awarded the British Empire Medal in the King’s Birthday Honours.

I was back at work on 7th May when notification of the official ending of the war was released and May 8th was declared VE-Day.

The lights went up everywhere – blackout curtains were pulled back,  church bells rang out everywhere and thousands of people were out in the streets. I finished work and had hoped to go up to St Pauls to give thanks for the safety of my husband and father, and for all who had lost their lives in the struggle for peace. I could not get to St Pauls, so dense was the crowd, but I could get to St Brides which was just around the corner from the building in which I worked. It was quiet, and nobody was there – a sanctuary in which I could silently offer prayers without fear of sounding stupid over the mixed emotions that I (and thousands of others) felt at that moment in time.

From St Brides, I decided to make my way to Buckingham Palace to see the King and Queen, the Princesses and Mr Churchill. I did not walk there – huge crowds just linked arms and moved, singing and dancing towards the Palace. I got as far as halfway down the Mall – there were people as far as the eye could see. It was impossible to get closer, but there on the balcony, looking very tiny, were the Royal family and the Prime Minister. The crowd was singing the National Anthem; “There’ll Always be and England”; “We’ll Meet Again”; and even “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”.

I cannot explain the emotions of joy, relief, sadness, thankfulness which was felt everywhere. Comradeship was very pronounced – we didn’t know each other, had never met before – nor since, yet we were comrades in this united crowd.

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Offline Ted H

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 16:24:07 »
I was with the RAF in India when VE Day happened, we did have free beer in the canteen, but as far as the War being over, the Japs were still fighting. VJ day was the real end of the war. But the 14th Army always considered itself to be the "forgotten Army" !

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 13:15:14 »
I was at school when the news came through. A teacher rushed into our classroom and, at the top of her voice, shouted "the war`s over". We all knew it was imminent and had armed ourselves with whistles and hooters, bought from Woollies at around 2d. each - the place was `Bedlam`. We all went home early, still blowing our whistles.

Offline CDP

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 12:10:57 »
I was in Sheerness, lucky ole' me !!!!
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.

Offline peterchall

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Re: The Day War Finished .
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 23:48:30 »
Where were you, CDP?

My abiding memory is of a group of about 8 RAF men, I think all officer aircrew, arm-in-arm in a line across Rochester High Street, legless and singing ‘Sussex by the Sea’, and the crowds making way for them and cheering them on. Where they came from, I know not, because the nearest RAF station was Gravesend.

I was 6 weeks short of my 16th birthday, so could legally go into a pub, but I don’t remember (I was with my mum and dad). I suspect that the High Street pubs were too crowded and that we went back to our local – the ‘Morden Arms’ in Troy Town. I don’t know whether it was the evening before VE-Day, or VE-Day itself, which was a day off work.

But it must be remembered that there was that most implacable and vicious enemy still to beat – the Japanese soldier, who didn’t know the meaning of ‘surrender’ – with no end in sight. Whatever the arguments about the morality of it since, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan in August brought an unexpected end to the killing, and families with men in the Far East, and with men preparing to go there, no longer had to live in fear of the arrival of that telegram.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline CDP

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The Day War Finished .
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 22:17:40 »
There were rumours all day long that the war was about to finish and Germany had to accept "unconditional surrender ".   My mother was not willing for me to go out that evening because we all knew that there would be many crowds thronging the streets. But boys will be boys and all that, so at 7 ish in the evening I climbed out of the upstairs windows slid down the roof and met my friends by the Town Clock. There appeared to be hundreds of people waiting for the fun to start.

Everyone was dancing and singing and really having a great time. All the chaps were kissing all the girls and all the girls were kissing all the chaps. Fireworks were being let off, rockets, bangers and all sorts. One sad memory that I  have ;  I was standing next to a young Polish officer who was really enjoying the atmosphere when a large rocket came rushing through the air and drilled into his arm. He tried to remove it but it was forcing itself  into his arm and we all tried to get it out of his arm. The Police rushed over and carried him away. People were aiming the rockets into the crowd but the police soon stopped that. I also remember a young lad, (Nosworthy?) climbed up to the top of the Clock Tower and hoisted a German flag at the top, he was very, very quickly pulled down by the scruff of his neck and he then ran away !!.

A friend borrowed his father`s Captains` uniform and later he said he had a lovely time with the girls, he was only 16 !!.

All the pubs were open and they appeared to serve everyone, whatever their age, even us.
We finally arrived home about 3/4 in the early morning.
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.

 

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