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VE Day: what do you remember?

(23 Posts)
annodomini Thu 30-Apr-15 12:26:19

If you're younger than me (74.5), there's not much point in responding! But I'm sure that, like me, many (older) GN members must have vivid memories of this very important day in our lives. Living on the Ayrshire coast, the threat of bombing had been short-lived, but the stress of the six years of war weighed heavily on our parents and had knock-on effects on us children. My mum had made little white smocked dresses with Union Flags embroidered on them for me and my sister. She was 8 months pregnant and didn't attend the parade, so my aunt took us to watch various local groups marching past the WW1 memorial, but what I remember is the sight of my father, Captain of the Home Guard, marching at the head of his company, uniforms spruced up for the occasion. I was so proud of him. As he was in a reserved occupation, he couldn't join the armed services, but the Home Guard was always at the ready - he always said that Dad's Army was close to the truth! Then another memory: ice cream! An Italian friend of the family had an ice cream shop on our route home. This was our first experience of this delicacy, and I don't think I have ever outgrown that childish excitement.

Teetime Thu 30-Apr-15 13:27:57

My Mother used to tell us about how she danced all night in Leicester Square (she was in the ATS, a telephonist at the War Office)- whenever footage this is shown of this seen I tried to see if I can spot her. Dad was on HMS Roberts somewhere in the med- the broke out the rum rations!!smile I find it very sad to think of them both in this way at 19 (her) and 24 (him) to think of how their young lives were spent.

whitewave Thu 30-Apr-15 14:00:09

Wasn't born but remember my mother's account. She went up to London and had a very torrid time with a chap called Frank from the USA!!! Given that I was born in February 1946 I have often wondered.........?

Iam64 Thu 30-Apr-15 14:21:41

whitewave grin

I'm a bit too young to remember VE day but I know my mum had a lot more freedom, cash and fun when she was in the ATS than when she was living in her family and tipping up her wage every week. When she returned after the war, she led a mini rebellion in which her 3 younger siblings said "if our x isn't going to tip up all her wage to dad every week, neither are we". Go mum!

henetha Thu 30-Apr-15 16:25:09

I was seven -and-a-half when the war ended and can remember the party in a nearby park. My memories are of banners, lots of jelly and cake and lemonade, people cheering and singing; it was joyous.

aggie Thu 30-Apr-15 17:32:53

I remember joining in a parade to finish with a picnic at a local landowners estate We were told to bring a cup for the picnic , my mum hung mine round my neck with a ribbon through the handle , somehow it got parted from said handle and smashed . She was livid , all my chums had tin mugs and were able to have a big mug of tea . I had won first prize in a painting competition , but nobody believed me and I was too shy to claim my prize . I don't think I understood what it was all about , I had been evacuated to my Grandparents village but mum and my siblings came too and thought having a cup meant I was being sent away from them! so spent the day in tears , nobody could make out what was wrong with me . I am still abit stupid lol

rosequartz Thu 30-Apr-15 19:51:48

A picture was published in the paper local to where I grew up a couple of years ago. It was a photo of a street party on VE Day 1945, with all the children in the road in the picture.
DB sent it to me and I said that it couldn't possibly be 1945, it must have been a VE party in 1946 because I was in the photo and I didn't arrive until two weeks after VE Day!

durhamjen Thu 30-Apr-15 23:40:00

My mother did not celebrate as my dad was in Burma, and she was too worried about him.

ninathenana Fri 01-May-15 00:49:17

Whitewave my mum also had "a very torrid time in London" that night. She was married to her first husband (not my dad) at the time, but my half sister was the result of that night shock shock grin

Maniac Fri 01-May-15 15:09:02

Was it VE day or VJ day? We were on a school holiday in Grasmere village hall -sleeping on straw-filled palliasses.
-first school holiday since the war started.

durhamjen Fri 01-May-15 15:15:08

VJ day was September 2nd. The bomb was dropped on my mother's birthday.Still not sure whether to feel good or bad about that.

joannapiano Fri 01-May-15 15:33:45

My Mum was based at Pinewood film studios around VE day, as she worked for Lloyds shipping, and they were all evacuated there. She saw loads of film stars and had a fling with one of the Dam Busters around that time.
She rather styled herself on Veronica Lake, as she had long blonde hair.

rosequartz Fri 01-May-15 16:52:09

Even though VE day was a cause for celebration, lots of the Forces were still away and didn't come home for quite some time, my dad included.

whitewave Fri 01-May-15 16:55:27

Funnily enough I was at Mum's today and was going to bring up VE day and when did Dad get home? But forgot as she is as interested in the election as I am and we spent the time talking politics.

TerriBull Fri 01-May-15 18:13:21

During the last seven years of my mum's life when she was widowed, we had our best "one to one" sessions. We spent a lot of time on a joint family history quest and inevitably the subject of her life during the war years came up quite often. Like your mother Teetime, my mother was also a telephonist with a government department, but not the War Office. My mother travelled into the centre of London from her home in Bromley, not far, but could be precarious at times. She told me about a conversation she had with newly acquired friend through her church when they both discovered in their 80s that they had been working on opposite side of the river during a particularly memorable, probably quite horrific day when incendiary bombs were dropped. My parents didn't meet till after the war, I believe my father was stuck in Libya for almost the entire duration, but mum did say that subsequent generations had no idea the way the war impacted on relationships, I know she had a Canadian boyfriend, but they were separated. She remembered VE Day gathered together with her closest friends in Trafalgar Square, the mood euphoric, probably hasn't been anything like that day since.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 01-May-15 18:17:27

I was dressed as "Little Miss victory" and wandered aimlessly around in a fancy dress parade, probably wondering wtf was going on. Got the video to prove it (found in the British War Museum)

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 01-May-15 18:18:24

Actually, nothing's changed. I still wander round wondering wtf.....

Bez Fri 01-May-15 18:51:10

I remember having a party in the local workmen's institute building - more a glorified hut really - fish paste sandwiches and jelly and my name on all my bits written on Elastoplast. We also had some sort of celebration on the large local green with a fancy dress parade - my mother made me skirt out of blackout fabric which my father had painstakingly stencilled in silver paint the names of all the countries which had joined NATO - the bodice was fashioned out of several flags - goodness knows where dad had got those.
He too was in a reserved occupation working on radar and was in the Home Guard and also did local fire watch. We lived very near what us now Heathrow but at the time was an RAF base. There were anti-aircraft lights on what was destined to become the school playing field and bombs and sirens going off most nights - suddenly it was much quieter - but all this was of secondary importance to me as my mother was pregnant with my sister and I was far far more excited about the prospect of a sibling than the war ending!

TriciaF Fri 01-May-15 18:58:38

I don't remember anything about it, though I was about 9 at the time.
We were still waiting for Dad to come back from the Navy.
I have a newspaper that he saved : South Wales Echo of May 7 1945.
"Doenitz orders unconditional surrender of all forces.
We have succumbed after 6 years."
Admiral Doenitz was Hitler's successor. Hitler having killed himself.
Dad must have got the paper from an uncle who lived in Cardiff.

Deedaa Fri 01-May-15 23:02:36

Obviously being born in 1946 I don't remember VE Day, but for the 50th anniversary there was a celebration party in Truro City Hall. The hall itself was still as it would have been and once decorated with bunting and filled with people in costume - some in uniform and some in civvies the was a really eerie feeling that we had travelled back in time. Those of us who worked there always reckoned the hall was haunted so perhaps that helped. There was even a young lad dressed as a spiv giving us a quick peak at the nylons and knicker elastic he'd got in his suitcase smile

plantpot Sat 02-May-15 14:59:03

I was born in1936 and I was just 3 years old when WW2 started. We had soldiers billeted with us on free time from their regiments, they were lovely chaps and later we had 2 ATS girls too. They were both called Mary. I lived in Derby then and we did have air raids and lived in our protected cellar quite a lot at nights. Although it was a frightening time and there were hardships, we never felt deprived, and there always seemed to be lots of laughter. In 1945 the war ended on my birthday, what a day! So this year will be a special celebration and lots of people sharing the 8th of May as they did when we had our street parties.

bimbadeen Mon 04-May-15 16:46:43

I remember the celebration street party...because the lady doing the organising forgot the children who lived in her went to where the party was being held to be told that we weren't on the list, in all there were around ten of us...I cannot for the life of me remember what happened ten is quite a lot extra to fit in..


nigglynellie Tue 05-May-15 14:19:13

My mother didn't celebrate as my father was dead, shot down and killed at Christmas 1942 five weeks before I was born.