On Tuesday the 8th of May 1945 Germany signed an act of military surrender ending the conflict in Europe. Victory in Europe is celebrated every year on this date in recognition of one of the darkest periods in European history.
Many of us here were born in the 30s; we were children when war broke out. I am often asked whether it was frightening growing up during wartime; it was frightening but at the same time we knew no different, to us a gas mask was just part of the school uniform. I think that it was worse for our parents who had already lived through the first world war, they knew just how devastating war could be.
My memories of the war are of camaraderie, of living in the countryside watching the German planes go over, of sharing rations and being there for one another. There is something about adversity that brings out the best in people.
VE Day was magnificent, the feelings of relief, of happiness, the whole country celebrated, we didn’t have much, but it didn’t matter, we were finally at peace.
I would never let the 8th of May go by without marking it in some way, without honouring those that lost their lives fighting for our freedom. To the silent generation it is more than a date in history, it is our history, it is the reason we are who we are, and it is the reason we’ll never forget.
I’d like to thank the team at Layston Grove for providing us with the perfect VE Day celebrations, there was music, there was food, there was dancing and there was fun, we had a wonderful time, the drinks flowed, and the laughter rang out and we partied like it was 1945.