VE Day 75th Anniversary, May 8th 2020
We will all have been watching the many programmes on TV celebrating VE Day. At the end of 6 years of uncertainty, hardship, loss and horror, the people of the UK could finally look forward to better times. They took to the streets and partied all over the UK and my mother who had served as an ambulance driver on the Isle of Wight during the Battle of Britain, was one of those partying outside Buckingham Palace. She always spoke to me of the huge emotion of the day. We have all been looking forward to re-living those celebrations from 1945 but sadly, the many planned celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day will not be able to take place because of Covid 19. However many people will be celebrating and decorating their house to mark the day and evoke that wartime spirit. In current circumstances it is good to remember how the UK recovered from 6 years of national emergency. VE Day was a moment of huge relief in 1945 but it was not the final end to the war and many of our troops were still overseas. The war in Japan was to continue for many months and many families were still separated. There were further losses to be suffered. Of interest is the paper showing where our local Hampshire regiment was still serving on May 8th 1945. Colonel Tony Aylmer of Bembridge tells very simply the story of his experience while serving as a young soldier in Europe at Cuxhaven on May 8th 1945. I urge those of you who remember those days in the 30’s and 40’s to tell your stories so we can all raise a glass to the generation who lived through them and then celebrated, 75 years ago. We have lived through a prolonged period of peace as a result of their indomitable spirit. On May 8th let us raise a glass in thanks.