May 8th - anniversary of VE Day

  anchor 16:44 07 May 2007

How many of our older members recall VE Day in 1945?.

I was quite small at the time but remember the street parties with jelly, sandwiches and cakes.

I was looking forward to my Father coming home from India, but this did not happen for another 16 months.

He was seconded into the Military Police guarding German prisoners in Egypt. Intelligence officers were screening them for war criminals; some were caught hiding as ordinary soldiers.

  Cymro. 17:19 07 May 2007

I am just a little too young to have been around for VE day. The first street party I can remember was for the Festival Of Britain, 1951 I think.

  p;3 17:24 07 May 2007

I am just a bit too young for that BUT if memory serves I CAN recall the ending of rationing...I think...

actually all this takes ME back to my dad and his efforts IN the War ...very proud of/with him ( God rest his soul)

  Phphred 17:59 07 May 2007

Yes I can remember VE and VJ days. We had bonfires in the road but were short of fireworks so they (Someone) had the railway line signals or whatever they are called? They certainly banged when thrown into the fire. Pieces of ASBESTOS were also thrown into the fire and they made bangs as well. I think that I was allowed to stay out untill eleven o'clock, but just in front of my own house. The party came a couple of weeks later for us and we were getting jelly and a few dates, but banana's were rare indeed!

  Bingalau 18:19 07 May 2007

Yes I remember the day well, I was fifteen and had been working for a year. We had bonfires in the streets and I remember people dancing on the top of the air raid shelters in the streets. We had lights back on again after years of total darkness and blackout curtains etc, were burned with gusto. Everybody was kissing and hugging complete strangers, I believe the "Yanks" had a field day! followed by a leap in the birth rate nine months later.

  Forum Editor 18:37 07 May 2007

VE day must have been a wonderful event. My reading of Churchill tells me that it was followed by a massive feeling of anti-climax though, as people realised that the war hadn't abruptly ended,everyone wasn't coming home straight away, and wartime restrictions weren't suddenly lifted.

  laurie53 20:02 07 May 2007

Many people, even those who were around at the time, don't realise that rationing didn't actually end until 1954.

My grandparents kept some pre war fireworks right through the war, and I remember them being let off.

I also remember being brought downstairs to see the one street light in the village (a normal 100 w tungsten!) when it came on.

A more vivid memory, which is still with me, is running and hiding when the church bells rang in 42. Church bells were a sign that the invasion (theirs not ours!) had started, and I expected to see German killers wanting to bayonet me at any moment - I was four years old.

Just for the record I have since spent 17 very happy holidays in Germany!

Of course, I now know that the ringing of the church bells in 42 was to celebrate El Alamein.

Unfortunately nobody bothered to tell a four year old that the threat of invasion had receded by 1942!

Those happy childhood memories!


  johndrew 20:11 07 May 2007

Age sometimes has its own benefits even if everything isn`t roses round the door all the time. Yes you are right we still had to wait for VJ day and for much of the rationing to end, but people were friendlier and the young (I was very young) had respect without the government needing to tell them to have it. Kids could play safely in the street and any parent would treat a grazed knee without fear of being sued. Good days really despite some of the downsides.

  amonra 20:13 07 May 2007

The local village Home Guard decided to celebrate VE day by "disposing" of all the stored munitions. My uncle, being sergeant I/C of said munitions and most of the platoon, placed their stock of gelignite under the dam of the local water-mill. They retired to a safe distance and blew the charge. Eye witnesses stated that there was NOT A DROP of water left in the leat and the record for the 100 yds sprint was broken by all and sundry. A board of inquiry decided that since the blame could not be attached to any particular individual, the whole platoon would have to rebuild the dam ASAP. Lots of red faces, but the tale was told and re-told for many years.

  Bingalau 10:54 08 May 2007

Oh yes, I remember the LDV forming in 1939 (later renamed the Home Guard) I had been evacuated to Salop and remember all the local farmers etc. parading with a large variety of weapons such as pitchforks and scythes. I wonder if anybody ever took photographs of times like that? Brumas, have you got any in your collection of postcards? I didn't think rationing stopped until 1956, but of course the memory isn't what it used to be. After the war I remember my brother coming home from the 8th Army in Italy, the first thing he wanted was a penny's worth of chips from the local chippy, which luckily enough, Hitler hadn't bombed.

  anchor 13:52 08 May 2007

Bingalau: Rationing finally came to an end on 4th July 1954.

click here

I recall my parents saying later that they thought things had become worse, when Bread rationing was introduced for the first time in July 1946. This lasted for 2 years.

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